As the COO of a people-driven services firm, I spend a lot of time thinking about our employees. We aren’t perfect here at Kruze, but I think we’ve taken a lot of very great steps in the past couple of years to make this a good place to work.

One of the big steps that we’ve taken is to professionalize the HR function. Our HR team was going over a nationwide survey on employment trends, and they pointed out some really interesting things about what makes employees happy - or unhappy.

So, I’m going to address the three largest negatives that employees think about their bosses - and share some of the things we are doing here at Kruze to make this a better place to be.

Top three negatives that employees feel about their bosses

  • The boss doesn’t communicate clear expectations
    • How to address this problem
      • Scope it, Budget, and get approval - make sure your employees know what is expect of them and what resources they have to get there
      • Constantly reinforce core values - we’ve gone as far as to publish our core values on our home page.  We talk about them on every all hands meetings, and we also go over the core values in every single one-on-one. So talking and reinforcing core values really brings clarity to the relationship, and it also helps employees help each other. We hope this makes it easier for everyone to do the right thing if they are constantly thinking about our core values. 
  • Playing Favorites
    • You must have a seat at the table to be heard
    • Slack polls are a great tool - whenever we’re seeking input or asking questions of the group, we usually do it in a Slack poll because that’s a very transparent, and everyone can participate. It’s easy to get caught up in just asking a few people their opinions on something, and then making a decision, but if you use a Slack poll, it’s very democratic and the whole company can see what’s going on. This helps you avoid playing favorites. 
    • Clearly define bonus & PTO structures -  We also clearly define bonus structures and PTO structures. This is something where if people think other people are getting larger bonuses, or smaller bonuses, or same thing with PTO, they may think that someone’s playing favorites in the organization. But by having a very structured bonus and PTO plan, everyone knows what is possible, and where they’re measuring up. That is a really, really helpful thing to make sure the organization is not perceived as playing favorites. 
  • No clear career development plan 
    • A portion of One on One Reviews dedicated to career development
    • Written improvements plans log both short and long term goals
    • One on Ones condenses the feedback loop
    • Employees enjoy hitting goals!

It’s a lot of work, it takes a lot of energy from the folks that are running the company, but there’s so much more productivity, people enjoy working at your company so much more, and they just improve and become more powerful so much faster, it’s really worth the investment.