Let’s face it, we’ve all had them. Bosses that never seemed satisfied, were unapproachable to employees on the front lines, gave vague instructions and then became upset when tasks were not performed successfully, humiliated workers in person or through infamous “reply all” emails. Whether they realize it or not, these bosses often leave a trail of destruction in their wake, creating high turnover and low morale within their organizations.
Traits of a Great Boss
So, how do you avoid the pitfalls of poor management and the consequences that accompany it? Here are some traits of a great boss:
Cultivate trust and respect
Look for opportunities to build up your employees by sincerely praising their successful efforts both publicly and privately. This is intrinsically motivating and will result in higher morale among staff, increased motivation, and higher productivity. Avoid tactics such as belittling or undermining employees in person, behind their backs, or in a dreaded “reply all” type email that will humiliate them in front of others. These behaviors tell your staff that you are not to be trusted or respected.
Set employees up for success
When assigning tasks or responsibilities, be sure that your direction is clear and straightforward so that your staff has the tools and training they need to be successful. Vague or inadequate direction is frustrating and often results in mistakes or undone tasks.
Be approachable and inclusive
Your staff likely has a plethora of skills and knowledge that can be utilized for the success of your organization. Avoid limiting or isolating yourself to the echo chamber of a select few back-slapping decision makers; by doing this you are shortchanging your staff and your business. Additionally, this creates an environment of exclusivity, which affects your ability to get your employees motivated to work with you to accomplish a “common goal.”
Be an example
In other words, practice what you preach. If you expect your employees to do their jobs effectively and uphold the standards inherent in your organizational culture, then you must be sure to hold yourself to those same standards. Leading by example, doing your job effectively, and modeling the behavior that is congruent with your organization’s foundational principles will motivate other s to follow suit. If you consider yourself exempt from the rules, you are sending the message that you don’t believe in importance of your company’s values and rules or that you are superior to others.
Make work enjoyable
Have fun at work! By focusing on having a positive outlook and a sense of humor, you can open the door to rewarding relationships with others and provide feedback in a manner that doesn’t offend or belittle. Be aware of how you come across to others…a cranky or whiny boss garners neither support nor respect.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, you can be sure that by developing these traits, you will be well on your way to becoming a boss that employees want to rally around, not run from.
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