Dr Peta-Anne Browne shares tips on how to be a good boss

Roughly, 75% of companies struggle with employees who are overwhelmed, and 50% of people quit their jobs because of their bosses, not the work. Stats like these are why many in the world of work have been concerned about the “great resignation”, a phenomenon in which employees are quitting their jobs in droves. What is the best way to stop this and retain your top talent? Be a good boss. That’s something Dr Peta-Anne Browne – Wardworx founder and winner of last year’s Santam Women of The Future (Rising Star) award – is passionate about.

Browne says, “A good manager needs to have a deep understanding of each of the roles they manage. Ideally, it should be someone who has had first-hand experience in the role – or has made the effort to spend time ‘on the floor’ with the team. To lead is to serve, and I think a humble approach will always get you far.”

Wardworx is a mobile app designed by Browne to help doctors streamline patient task management in a hospital setting. It also allows for secure patient information sharing and task collaboration of doctors within a team. Browne launched it in January 2021 and since then it’s been downloaded 5 940 times, with a near perfect rating on Apple and Android.

Here are Browne’s tips for being a great boss:

  1. Have a shared vision that unites the team: “Every decision we’ve made as the Wardworx team has been made with the doctors of South Africa in mind. We hope to be more than just an app, but also a community and a source of inspiration for other young doctors.”

  2. Entrench efficient systems early on: As a good manager, one of your core functions is making sure you create efficient systems so your team and business can run optimally. Efficient systems don’t just boost profitability, they also safeguard morale. “As a start-up, we’re a small team but we try to put effort into creating efficient systems wherever we can, so that one day, as more and more people join our team, they will have a robust framework from which to work.”

  3. Good communication is key: The pandemic has created a fundamental shift in the way we work. One of the most noticeable changes has been working from home. Abroad, a survey found that just 4% of employees are set to return to the office full time. Meanwhile, in South Africa, many businesses that can, will be shifting to a hybrid model where employees only come in for part of the week. This comes with inevitable challenges. “Communication is key in this regard. These days there are many tech-enabled tools available that allow for quick, yet professional communication with colleagues no matter where they are.”

  4. Own it, but be humble: As a leader, your team look to you for inspiration and confidence. They also appreciate vulnerability – you don’t have to have all the answers, but you need to believe in what you do and the decisions you make. Sometimes, affirmation from others can make a big difference. “Winning the Santam WOTF Rising Star award for 2021 has meant so much to me. I felt so encouraged and proud to be acknowledged as a female entrepreneur on the rise. Often ‘imposter syndrome’ can creep in and moments like that remind me I’m on the right track.”

Being a good manager requires a thirst for efficiency, a passion for people and a desire to create good systems. Sprinkle all of that onto a revolutionary app and you get a woman of the future.