Most food service employees experience a bad boss at least once in their career. Many feel they have never really had a good boss. Insensitivity, failure to communicate, and a lack of fairness are the hallmarks of poor management.

You want your food truck employees to perform at their best, but there’s a fine line between being a tough boss with high expectations and being a bad boss. Use these four rules to avoid crossing the line.

5 Steps To Take To Avoid Being A Bad Boss

  • Appreciate different work styles. Be clear about the outcomes you expect, but don’t create conflict just because your employee has a different style of getting something done. If they’re effective, give them latitude to develop their own solutions and add value.
  • Give your employees a sense of purpose. Food truck owners need to give their employees a reason to care. It can be tough if you’re providing a basic product or service versus curing cancer, but everyone is in business to serve a need–so make sure employees understand that. Clarifying the big-picture importance of what your people do helps employees stay focused and committed, even when the demands are great.
  • Listen to your employees. 4 out of 10 employees do not feel their boss listens to their suggestions and 3 out of 10 say their boss isn’t even available to speak with them when they have questions. Absentee management is rarely effective. Make it a point to be available to employees any time they have questions.
  • Recognize good work. If you’ve set rigorous performance goals or expectations employees must meet, don’t change the rules after the fact or fail to recognize success. Include your expectations in resources such as employee manuals, training materials or job descriptions. Conduct regular performance reviews and be sure to acknowledge when expectations have been met or exceeded. Recognizing a job well done enhances motivation.
  • Be respectful. Regardless of how demanding you are, treat your employees with respect and dignity. While it takes courage to tell the truth, it should be done in a way that doesn’t devastate your employees. That means no blindsiding them with expectations they couldn’t have anticipated. Also, avoid destructive communication styles like screaming and insults. Explosive or reckless behavior hurts productivity and will likely cause you trouble retaining your best employees.

RELATED: The Complete Human Resources Guide For Food Trucks

The Bottom Line

Being a good boss is difficult. It takes thoughtful action and commitment. If you are a food truck vendor, you need to become a student of the craft. Continually try new approaches to learn what is most effective for you and your food truck employees. Don’t become known as that bad boss that employees had at their last job.

Do you have any additional tips for vendors trying to avoid being a bad boss? Share your thoughts on social media. Facebook | Twitter