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Rolling Your Sleeves Up?

Discussion in 'General Business and Entrepreneurship' started by rz3300, Mar 13, 2016.

Do Employees Like Their Bosses To Roll Their Sleeve Up?

  1. Yes

  2. No


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  1. rz3300

    rz3300 Member

    I do not mean literally, but this is a fancy way of asking a rather general question. How important is it for the higher ups to get down and work with the workers, and really roll their sleeve up, as they say?

    I think that it certainly has value. I think that it shows employees that they are working for someone who is not unlike them. Of course it depends on the nature of the work, but I would like to think that the higher ups would want to converse with the more day to day workers.

    I really have no experience of being a higher up in the sense that I am thinking, but I am curious to see if others have any light to shed.
    bhu likes this.
  2. William Clements

    William Clements Moderator Member

    I believe that the higher ups should be doing work. However, I have seen first hand in situations were this is not true. When I was in High School I worked at Roy Rogers Restaurant and once my boss was transfered to an struggling store they had to hire someone new. He was worthless and just talked on his personal cell phone all day to only God knows who. I did his job as well as my own jobs.

    I believe that higher ups are the leaders and you need to walk the walk & talk the talk as one and do work as well. Those are the role models and by not doing so, they are conveying it is fine to not do work.
    CoolSpot likes this.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Member

    A good boss should work 'with' their employees, not just issue orders. It makes for a good camaraderie between management and employees. It also helps the higher-ups get a feel for what it is like in the trenches and will make him/her a much better leader. I tried to spend time in each job at my business on a rotating basis so that I stayed familiar with the challenges of the position and the employees working there.

    Employees should feel like partners in your business. Like they are working with you to make the business successful for everyone. Your success in business benefits them greatly! It gives them job security, advancement opportunities, and better wages. Working next to them is one way of letting them know they are your partners.
  4. CoolSpot

    CoolSpot Member

    I agree, Higher ups should always be exposed to the work they are expecting others to do, not only is it important for training reasons mentioned above, but it also gives the higher up a better understanding of the mentality of their workers and the issues they face on a daily basis.
    Nancy likes this.
  5. bhu

    bhu Member

    As a solo entrepreneur, I've always been a sleeve-rolling businesswoman. In my direct sales franchises, I did all the presentations. I was my own roadie (loading, unloading, setup, driving). I took all my orders and phone calls, did all my scheduling, wrote newsletters and did purchasing, receiving and inventory. Depending on the company's practices, I either delivered all products ordered or met with the hostess upon receipt, either by phone or in person, to walk her through sorting individual orders. It's a lot of fun, but it's also a good deal of work. Not for the faint of heart.
  6. jona

    jona Member

    I had a boss that I really respected, he gained that respect by simply sitting with me and showing me how to tackle a technical problem that I insisted had no solution, he basically showed me that he could do my job easily, and that's why he is now the boss, because he moved to do bigger and better things. It is like being a soldier, you prefer a battle hardened general to command you, a guy that went trough all the things you are going trough but he is now more valuable actually commanding than fighting directly.
  7. Corazon

    Corazon Member

    My first office job is a methods analyst in a bank. Adjacent to our department is the programming group. Later on, I learned that the boss of the programmers doesn't know computer programming that made him not only the butt of jokes but programmers were running circles around him. It was pathetic to see that boss groping for information when talking with the programmers especially when there is a problem that needed immediate solution.

    I'd say that employees are inspired to work when they see the boss doing dirty work sometimes even just to show that the boss knows the trade.
  8. djentre

    djentre Member

    I believe in leading by example. Also, i would never work with or for someone who doesn't do that. You have to lead from the front. If you sit back, relax, your employees will feel like they can do that too. Or they may feel that you're being unfair. If you expect someone to be at work at 7 in the morning, you need to be there at 6. If you expect someone to hit a target of x, you better hit that target with them.
  9. Valerie

    Valerie Member

    "Rolling up their sleeves." I like that.
    It's been my firm belief that if you want to lead a group of people, you have to stand before them with the same resolve they need to have to get work done. Plainly speaking, if you're asking to employees to shovel crap, you're going to have to show them why it's worth dealing with it in the end. I've always respected the supervisors who weren't afraid to be perceived as approachable or on the same level as those in the lower rungs. When I'm doing the leading, I try to be right there in the action as much as humanly possible to maintain the morale. Motivation, earnestness, and trustworthiness are the foundations of a great leader.
  10. Federico.Gimeno

    Federico.Gimeno Member

    In my experience (computer / software engineering), it's not common that the high management get into labs and supervise the work being done there, and it's even less likely that they get their hands on anything technical related. They just want high level reports and like to hear good reviews from our customers.

    And we, as staff engineers, are fine with that, since, to be honest, their presence only adds tension and do not help too much.
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I think for an employee, it's important to see that their boss is working just as hard as they are, as it at least makes them feel that they're part of a business that's built on a good work ethic from top to bottom.

    While I understand that it could work the other way and a boss could just pretend to be on the shop floor working to spy on their employees, I think on the whole it's better to work together than have a boss stuck in an office that you only see when your in trouble!
  12. djentre

    djentre Member

    I think I was a terrible employee on projects where I saw a lack of leadership and enthusiasm. There's just such a bad vibe to a workplace when leaders do not roll up their sleeves. You know people were scared of Steve Jobs not because he was terrifying when angry, but because he could point out things that were right in front of people's eyes and then tell them how to fix it too. That's also an important thing. He was involved. Had he not been involved, I think we would have been fine with ugly plastic-type phones that just worked "fine". He set the standard.
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    Another thing to think about though is that even though I said I'm for the bosses rolling their sleeves up and working along side the employees, I think that only works if that boss as done the job before.

    It's one thing running the company and the business side of things, but when it comes to getting their hands dirty I think unless they know what they're doing, then they could be more of a hinderance than help.
    Federico.Gimeno likes this.
  14. imca2001

    imca2001 Member

    Rolling your sleeves up and working side by side with your employees I think means that you should keep close contact with employees, that way you feel what they feel in case there's negative comments towards the owner or management. A succesful durable business means keeping your employees happy. I don't think it means to do the same duties that the owner most probably did in the beginning of the business. Keeping your workforce happy will keep your business flowing for a long time.
  15. djentre

    djentre Member

    Well, keeping everyone happy is not always possible. But, trying to understand how someone thinks and what motivates them is really important. Some people just want recognition, others care mostly about money. You can't pay a man who wants recognition and you can't give "employee of the month" award to someone who clearly wants a better paycheck. So, understanding all of that is important. That can only happen when you go into the trenches with them.
  16. Nikita

    Nikita Member

    I once worked as a project manager running promotions for certain brands offsite from our offices and the recruits we had were very appreciative of me because I was doing the same hard labor that was expected of them such as carrying heavy loads and even mopping floors when necessary. I think for that situation it was more acceptable for me to do it but in other situations I think it would be better if I kept to my own task. I'd say it depends on the situation as sometimes you have to please more than just your employees, such as business partners, and rolling up your sleeves might give a wrong impression, whether it is warranted or not.
  17. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    That's the point I was making about how NOT to do it! Working side by side with your employees should be because your working as part of a team and it shows your employees that you aren't afraid to help.our and that even though your the boss, your still part of the team and want to get things done.

    If they think the only reason your there is to spy or listen out for negative comments then they'll be even more wary of you and you won't get the best out of them as they'll be constantly worrying about if your watching them or not.
  18. Lynda

    Lynda Member

    I agree. It isn't always necessary for the boss to do the same job to work alongside the workers, but the guy/gal who sits in an office with a door shut isn't going to be seen as part of the team and that can slam morale. A boss who doesn't work, or isn't believed to, gets no respect.

    One of the best bosses I worked for didn't have any skills in our field, but he was upfront about it. As he said, his job was to bring in the business and keep the client off our backs while we delivered the work. He was also prepared to stick around and gopher or order pizza if we were working late and provide transport home. If the team worked late, so did he.
    djentre and pwarbi like this.
  19. Lazy Hermit

    Lazy Hermit Member

    Our boss firmly believes in this ideology. He was the most experienced among us in our work and handles all the paperwork that only he has the authority to work on, such as making sure that the supplies arrive on time. He can be very strict and he will force you to adhere to the schedule and never leaving any work unfinished, but because of that we have never worked overtime while we're with him.
  20. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    That's pretty much how I try and behave as a boss aswell. I've worked in the trade I do for many years now so I can call ojnmy knowledge to help the team out on most occasions. Sometime though if it's something new then I'll openly admit that I know nothing about it so will stay out of the way and let the ones who do get on with it, without me getting in the way.

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