How many of you think your boss is awesome? Now, how many of you think your boss is terrible? We've all had our own experiences - whether good or bad - with our bosses, but only some are gifted with a boss that makes them enjoy their job. That’s not to say that all bosses are terrible; like most people in life, bosses can come in a variety of ways and with a variety of management styles.
Bosses can be fair, happy individuals. That is what most employees desire: a boss that makes the work environment a happy one. It’s pretty easy to figure out whether or not a boss falls into that camp. What are their standout traits? Consider both the good and the bad; are they open to criticism? Or do they flip out anytime people point out a bad decision they've made? Are they open-minded? Or are they very strict and by-the-book? Do they delegate fairly? Or do they give crappy jobs to those they dislike or aren’t particularly fond of.
No boss is perfect, and employees should expect every boss to be somewhere different on the spectrum of what is considered good and bad. Even then, what some consider a bad trait, others might prize as a good one. After all, some people love a by-the-book boss, or perhaps a boss that is willing to play favorites to their advantage (though to be fair, a lot of people might be okay with that). There’s no escaping a little subjectiveness in the workplace.
Even if people prefer some of those traits, that doesn’t mean it’s good for a workplace environment. Some traits are just better for being a good boss. Which ones? Here are ten examples of the key qualities of a great boss.
10 They Don’t Play Favorites
On some level, it’s hard to escape having a “preferred” set of individuals you like, but a good boss doesn’t let that fact interfere with how they treat their employees.
If a boss sees that you always work hard and are helpful to others, they should make sure you are rewarded appropriately. A bad boss, however, will reward those who suck up to them. It’s like that many have seen this happen before, and in all likelihood it’s pretty infuriating. Those currently working for a boss who plays favourites, take note: not all of them are like that.
9 They’re Challenging, But Fair
A good boss should stimulate employees by making sure they have a workload that keeps them busy, but goes no further. If a boss asks someone to do something, but that person doesn’t have the time, they shouldn’t say “then make time.” A good boss should understand and delegate the task to somebody with the minutes to spare. Or they will work with an employee to push back the deadline of a current task, or delegate a lesser task to somebody else, allowing the employee to take on the new one.
8 They’re Open To Criticism
Being open to criticism is a tough skill for anybody, but it’s especially important for a boss. If they aren’t willing to develop themselves, then every employee under them will suffer, which is no good for office morale. Being open to constructive feedback, and being able to acknowledge faults and mistakes, will go a long way to making a boss beloved by their employees.
7 They’re Self-Aware
Being self-aware is a crucial skill for a boss. Why? Because a good boss is aware of their strengths and - more importantly - their weaknesses. If a boss knows what their weaknesses are and acknowledges them, they can hire people who compensate for them.
If, however, they’re the unaware type, they’ll probably just end up hiring people they generally like, with no regard to work team balance. Not exactly the best way to expand a crew.
6 They’re Open-Minded
The main reason to want an open-minded boss is the flexibility an open mind brings. When people know you’re open-minded, they want to talk with you. This fosters good communication between boss and employee, which is something every company should want. A brilliant idea may be lurking inside of an employee, but if they don’t feel comfortable speaking to the boss about it, it will never see the light of day.
5 They Listen And Act On What Employees Say
Being open-minded is one thing, but to really foster a strong and positive relationship with employees, a boss should be willing to act on what employees say as well. If an employee suggests a way to improve efficiency, then they should seriously consider it, and not brush it off.
This lets employees know that they’re actually a part of the process, rather than just a lower level workhorse. People who feel invested in a company are happier and more productive – there’s no downside to taking an employee’s advice. If not to improve the company, then why else pay them?
4 They Foster A Growth-Oriented Environment
A good boss wants the work environment to make people grow. By challenging employees to push and add to their skills, employees don’t feel stagnation associated with their jobs; they feel like they’re working towards something bigger.
This extends to training as well. Bosses who don’t invest in their employees are missing out. Yes, if the employees jump ship the day after a particular round of training, the company will have lost money, but what are the odds of that happening? Investing in workers is a great way to increase productivity, meaning the investment should pay itself off rather quickly.
3 They Know Their Employees Temperaments And Treat Them Accordingly
On a more personal note, a good boss is capable of differentiating between the emotional needs of each worker. Some employees respond better with a little sensitivity, while others may prefer a good old-fashioned “do what I say, when I say it.”
It isn't always easy making sure everybody is treated appropriately, but being a good boss isn’t always easy.
2 They Delegate Fairly
Good delegation skills are a hallmark trade of a good boss. But a good boss looks beyond delegating tasks – a good boss delegates responsibilities. A good boss will delegate with the thought “You’re being held accountable for these tasks, now make me proud.” They should want employees to feel like they are more responsible, and more capable. If a boss can’t trust an employee, why was that person hired in the first place?
1 They Motivate And Inspire
One of the hardest tasks that a good boss should master is to serve as beacon of motivation and inspiration. How do they do this? Really, it’s about having the majority of skills listed here, as well as showing personal motivation and passion as a boss at the company. After all, why should anybody be motivated if the bosses themselves aren’t motivated? If a boss expects fiery passion from their workers, then they should be the first ones to show it. Bringing enthusiasm and intensity to the workplace will help light a fire under employees and get great results for a business.