Imagine it’s your first day in a new job. You sit down at your desk for the first time, and waiting for you there is a note from your new boss.
In the note your boss bids you a warm welcome to the company, and then says this:
1: My most important priority is your happiness and productivity at work. If there’s anything I can do to make you happier and more efficient – tell me right away. This isn’t idealism, it’s good business, because happy people are more productive.
2: I will not burden you with endless rules and regulations. You’re an adult – I trust you to use your best judgment.
3: You have my full permission to screw up, as long as you own up to it, apologize to those affected and learn from it.
4: Please tell me when I screw up so I can apologize and learn from it.
5: Please make sure to hunt down people who do great work and praise them for it. I will do this as much as humanly possible, but I can’t do it alone.
6: If I get it right occasionally, I’d love to hear about it from you, too :o)
7: I will always have time for you. My calendar will never be so full that my next free time to talk to you is three weeks from next Friday.
8: I want to know about you as an employee AND as a human being. I DO care about your private life, about your and your family’s health and well-being.
9: Life is more than work. If you’re regularly working overtime, you’re just making yourself less happy and more stressed. Don’t join the cult of overwork – it’s bad for you and the company.
10: I expect you to take responsibility for your own well-being at work. If you can do something today to make yourself, a co-worker or me a little happier at work – do it!
This post was inspired by Michael Wade’s post over at ExecuPundit called Note from boss to employees. I liked his tips but I found the tone of them a little defensive. Michael’s tips had an undercurrent of “business is hard and being a leader is tough but we can slog it out together.”
I disagree – work is great fun (or at least it could and should be).
How would you like a note like this from your new boss?