If you own and manage a sign shop and have employees working under you, it’s up to you to set the tone for your overall workplace operations and culture.
A significant part of doing that is improving yourself as a leader. It’s a given that you always want your business and financials to improve year after year, but what about you personally as the boss of everyone else? The self-reflection you do now can go a long way toward boosting your company’s processes and staff morale over time.
So, here are five tips for becoming a better leader of your sign shop.
Host Training Events
The most successful companies in any industry are the ones that almost constantly run new training and continued-education programs for their employees.
How would you approach this kind of initiative? New training starts with identifying the different roles of your employees. The education you share with your graphic designers will differ from that of your customer service team, salespeople, and various managers.
As you put your employees through the training courses that you find, remember to quiz everyone on what they have learned. But keep in mind that not everyone likes to take exams; they can tend to recall the tedium of schoolwork.
Instead, you can opt for a more fun type of education quiz. The company 1Huddle has taken training to a new level by gamifying its quizzes. This way, your employees can train in new policies and procedures for your sign shop while having fun by competing with one another.
Prepare Your Staff for Real-Life Occurrences
Employees may not be comfortable with role-playing training, but this is actually a great way to ensure that your customers actually get the experience you intend them to have with your shop.
The only way to do this is to train your staff to understand your approach to customer service. Of course, the important part will be to throw some speedballs their way during the training.
Real-life scenarios could involve customers screaming and getting belligerent on the phone or in person. Your employees have to know how to handle those situations, so be sure to cover the toughest situations in your training.
Lead by Example
If you want to be an effective and respected leader for your staff, then you have to learn to walk a mile in your employees’ shoes. That means you have to lead by example.
The best leaders will tend to be the ones who are willing, at any time, to step into the roles of any of the shop’s employees. If someone suddenly calls in sick during a huge project, and now the job is in danger of not getting done on time, a leader should be willing to fill the gap to see the work through to the end.
By doing this, you set the example for your employees that hard work matters and everyone is integral to the business’s success. The more often you do this, the faster your employees will come to respect you.
Appreciate Your Staff More
Employee-appreciation programs are a wonderful way to incentivize and reward your staff.
Rewards should come when employees meet certain goals that you specify. Don’t be afraid to make this fun and engaging! Going further, invite other employees to celebrate those who reach plateaus they haven’t reached before.
Showing your employees that you appreciate them is probably the most important part of forming a positive workplace culture.
Have an Open-Door Policy
Leaders have to be approachable and easily accessible. It’s crucial to make your presence felt. Ask your employees how their weekends were. Get their thoughts on how you can do your job better.
You should not consider asking your subordinates for feedback as a loss of control or power. The leaders of many successful companies maintain open-door policies, literally and figuratively. This invites employees to come in with feedback on how you can be a better leader or make the company better.
Receiving this feedback should allow you to grow not only as a leader but as an individual. You as the boss don’t necessarily have a monopoly on good ideas for the company.
Maybe an employee will come to you and suggest a new way to utilize your print shop software so you can make a certain area of your business more efficient. If it’s a good idea, let the employee know that you are planning to incorporate this change in the near future.
Remember, everyone in your shop is working toward the same goals, so it’s always wise to let employees know when they have come up with better ways of getting there.