Three Most Important Roles of a Print Owner

If you are running a printing organization, you already wear many hats. That is because the owner, president, or chief executive officer is in charge of everything that goes on in the print shop.

Contrary to popular belief, being in charge doesn’t mean that print owners sit in a big chair behind a big desk in a big office, snapping their fingers all day long, minions running here and there. Or barking orders, expecting that they will be instantly carried out to perfection.

Many leaders fail to understand that everyone in the organization looks at them all the time. Even when people aren’t visible, the leader is being watched. Employees at all levels take cues from the person at the top.

People want their leader to be professional, friendly, and focused. They want a boss who is pleasant, treats people with dignity and respect, and who smiles and says “hello.” Most employees will step up to the demands placed on them by a tough boss. Everyone wants a fair boss who does the right things for the organization.

There are three new roles that the man or woman at the top has—three roles that must be played. These duties are not seen on a formal job description, yet they are critical to your company’s success.

Cheerleader in Chief

The first is that of Cheerleader in Chief (CIC). Some who are running printing companies don’t think that they need to be cheering others on. Some leaders don’t feel that they need to praise or compliment people. But these things are necessary—especially in these times, when there is uncertainty about the future.

People need to be “pumped up” when they are at work. If the person at the top is not recharging the batteries of the people in the organization, something is wrong. Maybe the owner needs to be hooked up to a battery charger first to have enough energy to pass along to others.

As the CIC, it’s not necessary to be joyful, happy go lucky, or a joker. It is necessary to be polite, nice, and pleasant; spreading a positive attitude of “can do.” Employees at every level look to the person at the top as the one who sets the tone for the organization. If their boss has a poor attitude, why should any employee feel any differently?

Chief Personnel Officer

In your role as Chief Personnel Officer (CPO), employees need to know that the person in charge knows which workers are productive, supportive, and working hard. Those employees also need to know that the leader knows who is not contributing.

Those who are dedicated, putting in the extra effort, and doing whatever it takes for the organization to succeed, look to the person on top to recognize the efforts being made. Hard working people need recognition and praise, even if it is not done in public.

The DNA of the dedicated print shop employee compels them to exhibit hard work, dedication, and drive. These types of people want to know that the boss appreciates them for what they do. There are some bosses who do not believe that this kind of employee needs praise. After all, their reasoning goes, if the employee receives a paycheck that should be praise enough.

Dedicated employees are not the ones who only work really hard when their annual performance appraisal is coming up. Dedicated employees don’t work for money alone. They work hard because of who they are. When a leader loses the support of these employees, he loses the core support of the organization. Hard working dedicated employees do 80% of the work in most organizations.

Those same hard working employees want to know when the CPO is going to start calling on the carpet those who are not productive. The hard working employees want to know when the CPO is going to start providing the motivation to improve the work ethic and results delivered by those who are under producing.

Chief Future Communicator

The third new role that the leader must play is that of Chief Future Communicator (CFC). This is the role of the visionary. If people are going to stay at a place of employment, they want to know that the organization they are a part of will be around in the future.

Simply spreading the word that “things are fine” is not enough. Employees are smart enough to know that if a printing company is not growing, it is dying. If people are working hard and see that the printing company is shipping or selling more, they know something is going right and they want to be rewarded for their efforts by getting raises and rewards.

What helps keep people energized and focused is knowing that their efforts will mean something in the future. Everyone wants to be part of an organization that is growing and going somewhere. It is the responsibility of the CFC to make sure employees understand the future of the company and their role in it.

While these three roles need to be filled by the leader, there is one more thing that needs to be said: These roles also need to be filled by every single member of the management team. Because if the managers, supervisors, and leaders are not cheering people on, dealing with personnel issues, and helping the print owner set a vision to keep people engaged, why are they part of the management team?