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Why Business Owners Should Write a “Boss Manual” for Their Employees

Just a single page could help your shop run more smoothly.

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BUILD A ‘BOSS USER MANUAL’

If you own a business, there’s a fairly good chance you’re an idiosyncratic individual … which can be great in bringing differentiation to the marketplace, but also makes it a little difficult for new employees to get up to speed quickly on how things operate in your workplace. Ivar Kroghrud, the lead strategist at software firm QuestBack, thinks most businesses would run much more smoothly if bosses — and even workers — came with user manuals. The idea is that after some self-reflection and feedback from your spouse or oldest employees, you write down a guide that makes explicit how you like to work (“Leave me alone in the morning.” “I like bullet points in emails.” “I hate the sound of alerts on mobile phones.” “Workers who come to me with problems and no solutions deplete me …”) One page should be plenty, he said. “These people will one day work out all these things,” Kroghrud told The New York Times. “Why not get them on the right page from day one?”

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