Tough-talking Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz sure knows how to get the media’s attention. Virtually every quip she’s ever uttered — including her famous “Tell me why I shouldn’t fire the whole lot of you” line — has been happily devoured and dissected by reporters looking for juicy quotes.It makes for a great story, but you’ve got to wonder what it’s like to work for her.A recent article from Entrepreneur.com suggests that bosses like Bartz might want to lighten up — not just because it’s good for office morale, but it may also boost their company’s bottom line.Writes author Nancy Mann Jackson:“Quite simply, if employees like and respect you, they’re more invested in your company and interested in its success. They’re willing to work harder and give more. But if they don’t care about you, they don’t care about your company.”Not exactly rocket-science, but it’s an idea worth considering, especially in today’s morale-crushing economic times. Since the recession kicked into high gear last year, there’s been no shortage of reports warning about undermotivated, overworked employees struggling to keep up with growing workloads while worrying about losing their jobs.But forward-looking leaders would do well to nurture office relationships, particularly during tough times.”This is when managers typically go into ‘avoidance mode,’ and as a result productivity goes down and morale goes down,” said Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, in an interview with Reuters.The better approach, he says, is to give employees a sense of purpose. Just don’t fall into a coddling trap. In research to be published in his forthcoming book, Hundred Percenters: Challenge your employees to give it their all and they’ll give you even more, Murphy found that most employees would prefer a boss that pushes them to achieve their full potential instead of one whose sole concern is making them happy.Maybe Bartz is on to something…Do you think being liked by your employees is good for business, or do bosses have to be the bad guy? Tell us what you think below.
Millions of minimum wage earners across the United States have circled July 24th on their calendars, marking the day a mandated pay hike will bump up their hourly wages to $7.25 from $6.55.The move is the latest in a three-part pay increase approved by Congress in 2007 in a bid to fatten up the paychecks of the country’s lowest earners and “improve the lives of working families across the nation,” the Department of Labor said.But many small business owners are left asking, “What improvement?”"For the business owner who hires a lot of people, I see prices going up and doors closing,” a sandwich franchise owner told the Indiana’s Journal and Courier newspaper.Indeed, reports are already popping up about worried business owners forced to pass on higher costs to their customers, slash shifts, and in some cases, reduce headcount when the burden of higher wages catches up with them.Meanwhile, critics are taking aim at the pay hike’s poor timing. With an unemployment rate at a dismal 9.5%, many are wondering how much more the bruised labor market can take.But there is an upside, at least according to analysts at liberal think-tank Economic Policy Institute. The EPI says the wage increase will give consumer spending a much-needed boost and prevent the worst recession in decades from spiraling out of control.Will the mandated minimum wage hike affect your business? If so, how are you planning to manage the increased costs?