How to Be a Tough Boss Without Coming Across as a Jerk

Every boss wants their employees to perform at their highest potential.  There is a fine line between being tough and just being a jerk.  Here are four guidelines to help you be stern and tough, without just being mean to your employees and crossing the line.

  1. Understand there are different work styles.  You will want to make sure that your employees understand what type of outcomes you expect from them, but you don’t want to cause conflict because someone does something differently than you would.  If what they do proves to be effective, then you will want to let them use their own ways because it will usually cause them to be more productive.
  2. Give your staff some sense of purpose.  Business leaders need to ensure that their staff has a reason to care about their job.  This might prove to be more difficult for some industries than others.  It is really all about getting them to understand the bigger picture.  This will help them to stay committed and focused on their jobs, even if you demand a lot from them.
  3. Appreciate a job well done.  If you have goals and expectations set, and your employees meet them you will want to make sure that you recognize their good work.  You will want to make sure that you have all of the tools that are needed to help them reach and exceed their goals.  Also, focus on ways that you can help boost them up when they are in a slump.  These are all great ways to enhance their motivation and keep them on the right track.
  4. Be respectful.  Even if you are a very demanding boss, you must treat your employees with the dignity and respect that you would want to be treated with.  You will want to make sure that you can be truthful and honest with them without devastating them.  You don’t want to blind side them with expectations that they did not anticipate.  This is not a fair way to treat your employees.  Also, avoid explosive behavior, as this is a good way to lose great employees.