15 months after I started Rough Draft Solutions, I hired my first two interns. Since then, I have had five interns and each one has taught me important lessons, helped me grow as a leader, and pushed RDS forward.
Most of us recognize when it is appropriate to write emails in a formal or informal tone. At work, we are told to error on the side of being too professional when communicating with coworkers, our boss, and our clients. We’re given the impression that it’s better to be safe than sorry and to be careful not to come off as too casual or worse, disrespectful.
But once you’ve formed strong relationships with coworkers and clients, wouldn’t it feel weird to be strictly professional in your emails? Shouldn’t your communication style reflect the connection and trust you’ve built over time? So, how do you walk the line between being professional and personable in your emails?
As a business owner, your journey begins with a vision, and you develop an idea of what needs to happen and how you want things to be done. While you may have an impressive vision, the challenge is making it happen. Many times, you cannot do it on your own and will rely on employees to help you complete the work and represent your company’s mission. Once you have a team in place, the next hurdle is setting them loose to do their work. You will do your best to lead your employees in the right direction, but at what point does the directing become too much? How much managing can you do before it becomes micromanaging?
Being a solo-entrepreneur definitely has its benefits - getting to do what you want when you want it and having the freedom of not managing others barely scratches the surface. But when it becomes apparent that your business needs help and you want to add people to your team, how do you know who are the right people to hire? Do you pick those with the most education? The most experience? The best personality? Which qualities are most important to look for in a new employee and which qualities should you look out for as warning signs in interviews?
Have you ever asked your employees how they want to be treated? What their expectations are for you as a boss?
The way you treat your employees has a strong influence on their productivity. In order to establish a strong and successful working relationship it’s important to treat your employees with the same respect as you would treat your best customer.
From an employee perspective, here are a few ways to treat your employees well and create a relationship that is a win-win for you both.
Company newsletters often leave employees cringing. A hastily thrown together mix of dry policy reminders and upcoming staff meetings will more than likely wind up unread and traveling directly to the “trash” bin of every email account. A company newsletter, if done right, can be an excellent and engaging way to keep employees informed.
Think of your newsletter as a tool - it is a way to share valuable information, company events and make your business feel more like a tight-knit community. It is not a place to skimp out and scan in newspaper articles and call it "good enough." With a little effort and some intentional planning you can share relevant news, stories of interest, and even have a bit of fun.
In the last few months I have noticed that one of people's biggest fears of writing content about their business is the fear of publishing something with embarrassing errors. All too often, when we are faced with the responsibility of writing something official about our business - whether it is a newsletter, a brochure or maybe even a presentation, we become paralyzed by the sheer thought of writing something incorrectly. We also fear writing something boring. Sometimes we push the project aside and never write it, or we write it, cringe, close our eyes and push "Print" - hoping for the best. Here are two important tips to help ensure that your content is accurate and also appeals to your audience.