What is the primary hallmark of a good boss? Trust. If you have a boss that you can trust, consider yourself lucky. 50% of employees in a recent survey said they have a “bad” boss or one that doesn’t “help”. Don’t assume the other 50% are “good” bosses. My experience? 10%.
Really good bosses have the following attributes. If you’re a boss, how many do you have? You might want to leave this article for your current boss to read (anonymously of course):
1. CLEAR MISSION, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES – Employees can perform at their highest level when the mission, goals and objectives are clear. If the boss doesn’t know the answer, you’ll be wandering in the wilderness, reflecting badly on everyone.
2. PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS ARE DEFINED AND SUPPORTED – When you know what’s expected of you, getting results is much easier. You can anticipate required levels of performance and understand how to approach results. You can also get the bosses support when needed.
3. COMMUNICATIONS ARE OPEN AND INTERACTIVE – You need to ask questions and interactively solve potential problems. You should mutually develop the strategy for achieving the goals of a project with your boss involved. Make the boss part of the solution.
4. PROVIDE CONSISTENT AND EQUAL TREATMENT – The boss should never have favorites, but more importantly, the workforce should view the boss as consistent and even-handed. Nothing will kill morale quicker than favoritism. It breeds festering resentment.
5. SHARE POSITIVE FEEDBACK – Bosses need to provide positive feedback to individuals and groups. Shared success will reinforce a sense of “teamwork” and add value to the shared experience of working together for the common good.
6. GETS ACTIVELY INVOLVED WHEN NEEDED – The boss needs to get personally involved at times, when it’s needed. The “hands on” approach demonstrates the boss’s commitment to the individual or group results. The boss should never be viewed as disinterested.
7. DEVELOP EMPLOYEES AND HELP THEM GET AHEAD – Helping employees to reach their career goals is always an objective of a good boss. The boss should develop all employees to their full potential, reward performance and support them up the ladder.
Does this list seem obvious to you? It is, but my experience is that very few bosses understand or actually have the skills to install these attributes in their organizations. Why? Only the better companies actually train their manager’s in how to achieve these skills. That’s why they are considered to be the best companies for which to work.
Contact Bill Kaufmann with questions or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org