Whether you’ve just entered the workforce or have been working for quite some time, you have probably encountered great bosses and not-so-great bosses. You may already know if which type you have, but there are definitely some traits that are commonly seen in awesome bosses.
Almost certainly, a person’s actions and attitude, and not their resume, define whether they make great bosses or not.
Great bosses typically exhibit the following five traits/behaviors:
1. Mentors and provides growth opportunities – Great bosses provide their employees with mentoring, training, and opportunities to learn new knowledge and skills. Employees really notice and appreciate when bosses do this because they are able to see and track their own improvements, progress toward goals, achievement, and professional/personal development. High performance and high performing employees are a byproduct of the time and effort spent mentoring and developing employees. Bottom line, Great bosses want their employees to succeed and help them to do so.
2. Provides continuous constructive feedback – Great bosses make a point of regularly making employees feel appreciated, while also providing them with regular constructive feedback. This allows employees to know what they are doing well, how they could perform better in some areas, and areas where they need to significantly improve and focus their effort. Recognizing and acknowledging employee’s performance and accomplishments is an important part of keeping up both employee and team morale. There shouldn’t be any surprises during performance review time that could have been corrected through regular feedback.
3. Addresses problems promptly – By knowing what is going on in their department, great bosses address problems as quickly as possible. Problems that go unaddressed can destroy morale and eventually create feelings of resentment among employees. Additionally, problems, no matter how small, don’t disappear by themselves. Instead, they become larger obstacles to face, and employees who witness a boss ignoring a problem usually begin to lose respect for the boss, which makes it very hard for the boss to effectively lead.
4. Communicates effectively with employees – Great bosses keep their employees informed of industry and internal currents events, and what they should expect to happen in the near future. They recognize that a company is an investment for everyone involved, including employees who invest their time and effort. The more informed the boss keeps the employees, the easier it is for the employees to effectively support the goals and objectives of the boss and the company.
5. Shows compassion and understanding towards employees – Great bosses recognize that employees face the same issues and themselves. They want to provide for their families, and build a strong career for themselves. They’re aware that things can happen in people’s personal lives that can affect their attendance and performance. Sometimes issues arise in employees’ personal lives that need to take priority, and great bosses understand that there are things that are more important than work. A great boss doesn’t see his employees as a ‘means to the end’, in fact, he seems them as investors and stakeholders in his company.
Throughout your working career, you will encounter both great and terrible bosses, or maybe you’ll be one yourself. Most great leaders weren’t born overnight and have to work hard to earn the trust and respect of their employees. If you’re in a leadership role, you have the unique opportunity to change employees’ perspective, work ethic, motivation, and drive to succeed. Believe it or not, employees with great bosses want to make the boss look good and just might go out of their way to do so. Bottom line, respected leadership can make or break a company since great bosses attract great employees.