Who is the boss?


Recently I have been getting a lot of business owners who are trying to figure out how to work with their employees. It seems that their employees have become unruly, make snide remarks, and do not respect their managers or bosses. This can be contributed to a lot of reasons. However, the bottom line is this – if you are the boss you cannot put up with this type of behavior even one time from ANYBODY who works in your business. Let me explain why.


1. As a business owner you are responsible for everything that goes on in your business.

2. What you hear your employees saying or talking about is not even one tenth of what they are saying to someone else. This can be other employees, your customers, or your competition.

3. This just never goes away or changes on its own. And just like the cycle of violence the off the cuff remarks will get worse.

4. Employees who engage in this type of behavior will damage the entire organization just like yeast in a barrel of flour.


The first time you hear any type of remarks or comments of a derogatory sort, stop whatever you are doing and correct the behavior. While it is better to praise in public and correct in private, if the behavior is done in public then it should be corrected in public. Everyone is watching and they want to see what it is you, the boss, will do. 

If you do not like confrontation then sell your business. If you do not want to correct employee behavior then sell your business.

The usual problem is that the level of professionalism you expect has not been set in the minds of your employees. Always set the level of expectation of behavior, interaction, dress, and professionalism you expect and enforce at all times. They are your employees. Do not carry their monkey on your back. If an employee has a chronic late problem because of car problems, ask them what they intend to do about that. Do not tell them it is OK and get it fixed as soon as possible. Remember, you are not their parent and you must have their respect or you will spend your days correcting behavior instead of running your business.

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