Being a good boss means different things to different people. To some, it’s about productivity and the bottom line — so long as they company is improving its profits, they’re doing a good job. Still others are concerned with morale and the work environment. As long as employees enjoy their work, perform it with vigor and find it meaningful, they must be doing something right. Every boss or manager will have different tactics, emphases and tricks of the trade, but regardless of the ways in which they measure their success, some qualities overlap. Here are seven of the best qualities that the best bosses share, whether they’re an airline executive or the front-of-house manager at a roadside steakhouse.
It isn’t just your employees who need their feet held to the fire when it comes to keeping their end of a bargain or admitting mistakes. Good bosses have to be willing to pay the piper, too. No one is perfect, and even when you make a sincere commitment and valiant effort, sometimes failure occurs. Be a positive role model for your staff and always accept responsibility when you drop the ball. It will make holding your employees accountable for their faltering mistakes, absenteeism, shoddy reporting and the like much easier when they know you demand the same level of commitment and follow-through from yourself.
All bosses have a budget they’re trying to mind and stay within, but the best bosses don’t scrimp on paying their employees what they’re worth. While the federal minimum wage remains stalled at $7.25 an hour, a good boss knows that good employees have to be compensated or they’ll walk. To that end, a good boss will cut budgetary corners elsewhere in order to ensure that the people who make her money are making enough of their own to stay loyal and keep working.
It seems like a CEO can’t go five minutes in one workday without encountering yet another issue, but running a business involves a lot of troubleshooting. From products and customers to supply chains and hiring, a good boss is able to think on his feet and work to resolve problems quickly and fairly. Not only does it keep the business running smoothly, but having a boss who handles problems instills confidence in his staff.
Good bosses never require an employee to perform well without a clear identification of the expectations and workload. To that end, they are excellent and frequent communicators who let everyone working for them know what their vision of “excellent work” looks like. Without dictating how an employee should do a job, a good boss discusses expected outcomes and results so that the employee can perform the details of the jobs as she sees fit, and if expectations ever shift, a good boss lets everyone know immediately. Outlining clear expectations gives employees a sense of security and allows them to focus on their jobs, which will inevitably yield better results.
Your employees need to feel that the work they do is essential to the company’s overall goals and mission. In fact, a recent study shows that being recognized for their effort and hard work is more valuable to your workers than money is. A good boss never lets an opportunity to express gratitude at someone’s effort pass. Not only does the recognition make the employee feel good and know that her work is important, but it also functions as feedback, making the employee more likely to continue that type of effort in the future.
Being trustworthy is an essential quality in a good boss. Not only does it mean that your employees know you’re being fair with them and with your customers, but it also means that they can trust you to have their best interest at heart. When your team knows that it’s your own personal integrity that keeps you motivated to be direct, honest, ethical, forthright, hard-working and sincere, it creates an atmosphere of openness and trust that will lead to better communication among all your team members. Bosses who cut corners or treat people inconsistently will cause wear and tear in the work environment. Trustworthy bosses, on the other hand, will be a source of inspiration and stability.
Being the boss means you’re the one who has to make decisions, and even if you don’t always make the right one, it’s essential that you avoid being wishy-washy if you want to instill confidence in your employees and customers. Good bosses usually make good decisions because they’ve spent plenty of time listening to their team’s opinions about what should be done, so that when push comes to shove, they have all the information they need to steer the business effectively.
Good bosses don’t all look the same or act according to the same principles, but there are some traits that they share in common. From a willingness to hold themselves accountable to a practice of regularly recognizing the people around them who do good work, being a good boss makes a workplace a better place and a good business a great one.Back to blog list