Statii Director Mark Thornhill has been a business owner in the manufacturing sector for over 20 years and knows that whilst running your own company is immensely satisfying, it’s also a great deal of hard work – and finding any leisure time in your working week can be a challenge.
However, Mark has a history of being able to successfully achieve that all-important work/life balance and this week he shares his three top tips…
“The founder of a business has to be all things to all people, from marketeer to financial director to company secretary – so where does the rest of your life fit in?” says Mark. “The good news is, it is possible to achieve a work life balance as the owner or director of an SME. Indeed, it is more than possible. It is vital.”
Tip one: Work productively
“I have been working in the manufacturing industry since I was 18 and over the past 25 years I have seen many business owners make the mistake of thinking that they should be the first to get to their desk in the morning, and the last to leave it at night but we all know that working hard is not necessarily the same as working smart.
“What is important in the workplace is how productive you are when you are at work, not how many hours you spend there. When you’re the founder of the company, it may feel as though you need to manage every aspect of it, but all that will happen is that you’ll end up burning out. And the simple fact is that exhausted executives are not as effective as fresh ones.
“What also happens is that you create a culture whereby your workforce feel obliged to work in this way too and nothing builds up resentment faster than staff feeling unable to take a break. What you want from the team around you are people who are willing to put all hands to the pump when required, but you need to make sure that when things quieten down, employees can get the time off they need too.”
Tip two: Delegate
“The best way of achieving your own maximum productivity is to make sure you get the right team of people around you, to make decisions in areas of the business in which they are more expert than you. When you delegate, you can clear your head to think about the bigger picture. Your staff will respect the ability to manage a team and give proper responsibility to the people who can do the jobs the business requires.”
Tip three: Take your annual leave
“Your staff will feel comfortable in asking for leave if you are seen to do it too. Make sure you take your full holiday requirement and that your employees take theirs too. After all, you’ve worked hard. Take a break.”