Almost everyone has a horror story to tell when it comes to bad bosses. Whether it’s the bully boss, the micromanager, the boss who takes credit for your hard work, the incompetent – or even worse – the always absent boss. A bad boss can make even the most fulfilling work environment unbearable.
Being a great boss matters, not only to your employees, but to the bottom line. A Gallup survey of over 100,000 employees found that an employee’s boss has more influence over whether they are engaged and performing well in their job than the company or work environment itself. In other words, according to researcher Robert Hogan, “People do not quit bad organizations, they quit bad bosses.”
So now that you’re the boss, what do you want to do differently than the bosses you’ve worked for? How can you motivate your employees so they are more productive, satisfied in their role, and want to stay with the company?
Here are five traits that can make you the boss you’d want to have:
- You listen and understand what motivates your employees.
A great boss knows that not everyone is motivated in the same way. Some employees are detail focused; some excel when given more autonomy; some thrive on recognition. You must be flexible enough to figure out what makes your employees tick, and then adjust your management style so that each individual thrives.
- You exude a positive, confident presence.
How can you expect your employees to be excited about their work if you aren’t? A great boss sets the tone and energy level for the work environment. You need to have a positive, can-do attitude and keep your frustrations and other negative emotions in check. You must learn how to drive urgency for the important things, and let the little things go.
- You deal with problems when they arise.
There will always be challenges on your team, whether it’s with a specific employee’s attitude, a frustrating customer, or a process bottleneck. Great bosses know that a problem not addressed will only grow in its negative impact. You need to deal with and solve issues openly and fairly.
- You are consistent and trustworthy.
While life may not be fair, employees expect fair treatment from their boss. They need to trust that you are honest and frank with them, have their best interest in mind, and will follow through on what you say you will do. At the same time, you need to be flexible enough to make changes if what you are doing is not working.
- You give employees what they need to be successful.
Whether it’s one-on-one coaching, software tools, more support – whatever it takes to make employees excel at their job, great bosses make sure that their employees are fully supported. Once you equip your employees, you give them the autonomy to do their job, hold them accountable, and recognize their accomplishments.
At the end of the day, being a great boss doesn’t just happen; you have to work at it, and be willing to listen to your employees to find out how you can best empower them to be the best they can be. As Robert Sutton, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss says, “The best bosses are acutely aware that their success depends on having the self-awareness to control their moods and moves, to accurately interpret their impact on others, and to make adjustments on the fly that continuously spark effort, dignity, and pride among their people.”
What other traits do you think a great boss should have? Let us know below!
As a partner benefit, we offer free Lunch and Learn programs for employees on topics such as Money Management, ID Theft, Social Security, Investment Properties and more. We provide the expertise and lunch, and you get an extra feather in your Great Boss hat! Learn more here: