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Wyoming Business Tips for Nov. 20-26

November 11, 2016

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Susan Jerke, WSBDC regional director

“What does it take to be a great boss?” Dean, Casper

Your employees want to be empowered to do their jobs, but how can you be a great boss in your high-pressure workplace that has become more and more complex and results driven?

Multiple generations and diverse cultures create interesting work environments, but managing and understanding your employees can be challenging. Personality types not only define employees, but also their bosses, from the perfectionist who wants to be involved in every detail to the nonconfrontational introvert who thinks that people will just do their jobs if left alone. But, the reality is, your employees need you to be a good boss. How can you do that?

Begin by setting clear expectations during interviews and on the very first day a new employee starts work in your company. Provide a concise outline of priorities, and share your insights on how you expect the work will be accomplished. Define what excellence looks like in your company, and describe the company culture.

Communicate expectations, both as a team and one on one. The entire team must know that it is integral to overall business success, but get to know your employees on a one-to-one basis. Identify individual strengths and weaknesses, and encourage professional development to further excellence and build knowledge.

Talk and act like a coach, and lead by example. You are likely in this position because you have valuable knowledge and personal experiences to share. Work as part of the team. Don’t just sit on the sidelines. By working alongside your employees, you can truly understand the daily joys, frustrations and challenges.

And, don’t assume your employees know how to do everything. By helping them learn and providing quality feedback, you will instill a greater sense of confidence in their abilities and overall job satisfaction.

Understand what motivates your employees. Effective managers understand that getting to know their employees and appreciating their lives as unique individuals build mutual rapport and respect. Find out what is really important to your employees. Is it money? Is it time off with family? Is it public recognition? Work with each employee to set goals that help achieve specific goals and ambitions.

Deal with employees in an honest, transparent and timely manner. An open and truthful boss is motivating and inspiring, and encourages the entire organization to work together. Listen to problems as they arise, and deal with them quickly and efficiently.

Allow mistakes. Learning comes from having the freedom to experiment and try new concepts and ideas. The experience of making mistakes can provide great opportunities for learning and building a cohesive team. Also, don’t be afraid to admit that you’ve made a mistake. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your workers.

If you are fortunate enough to play a leadership role in your company, embrace flexibility and enjoy getting to know your entire team. Remember, it is okay to be the boss and, by providing effective leadership, you truly are empowering your people and propelling your organization to success.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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