by: Amy Matthews

Are you in love with your boss? Easy, now. Not that kind of love.  But, the kind of love that makes you want to do better, work harder and achieve more.

It sounds like traditional, fluffy, ooey-gooey love. It’s similar in that it makes one want to be a better person, to please the other part of this relationship.

Wait.  Did I just say relationship?  Indeed, I did. The relationship between a boss and an employee is one of the most important relationships there is. And if you aren’t in love with your boss, you probably aren’t in love with your job, either.

Whether the boss is the owner or the manager, the relationship here is everything. Statistics show that employees leave managers, not the company. It makes sense if you think about it. This relationship, like any other, requires mutual respect, things in common, the ability to listen, compromise and achieve a common goal (which, hopefully, is to bring success/profit to the company).

Employee retention in popular companies is not always as high as we think. A few years ago, even Amazon was under fire for its poor retention—known as a pressure cooker, do or die, high employee turnaround company, where “only the strong survived.” Fast forward to 2018, where culture and efficiency is all – and retention at Amazon is much better now.

The first rule of HR is to drive the bottom line, through employee engagement, efficiency, and performance.  Everything else flows from there.  We cannot stress enough the importance of culture. Company culture is what draws good workers to a company and it’s what keeps them there.  Culture is not just a vibe; it’s an efficient back-end workhorse, with favorable salary ratios within the industry and the often-pursued work/life balance.

Solid ownership makes sure that every hire knows the purpose of the business.  In the early days, the owner/operator is the HR department.  Each hire must reflect the owner and the goals of the company.  Therefore, indifferent owners make poor hires, who in turn, foster disgruntled employees.  Hence, the bad boss who we all want to leave. In this way, good companies may end up with bad people who end up being bad managers and create a turnover.  It’s best to grasp this concept early, and hire right, hire well. You should always be on the lookout for talent that matches your goals. It is difficult (although not impossible) to turn this around and usually requires a re-staff of some kind.

All the ice cream socials in the world won’t make up for misguided employees with no clue or desire to drive the business forward.  It must start at the top. The call to action here starts with the owner and filters through from there.

Here are the simple rules for a clean, pleasant, effective culture: Hire the people that serve your mission.  Why are you in business?  Is everyone employed by you aware of your why? And, when you do have HR at the helm, make sure HR aligns with that why.  The rest will flow from there.