How to be a good boss

The saying goes “People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses”. It’s clear that one’s boss is extremely important to an employee’s well-being in the organisation, which can in turn affect morale, productivity and turnover. Being a boss is difficult – it’s not just about managing people, but also remaining accessible, boosting productivity, and being a good leader. Here are some ways you can become a good boss:

  1. Communicate expectations clearly, and often
    It’s important to communicate what you expect out of your employees from the get go. This prevents confusion on what needs to be done, and also gives employees a standard to work towards. By understanding the expectations well, your employees will be able to work towards meeting and surpassing those expectations.

2. Help to problem solve, not blame
However, when something inevitably does go wrong on the job (and it will!), a good boss doesn’t single out employees for blame. A good boss turns his or her team towards working together to find out the root cause of the issue and problem-solving instead.

3. Provide feedback
It’s also important for a boss to provide constant feedback on how well employees are meeting the stated expectations. By providing a stream of constant feedback, you can enter into positive discussions with employees on how things can be done better, which can lead to increased employee productivity as well.

4. Be willing to try new suggestions
Frequently, employees will have good ideas on how they can streamline their task processes, especially since they are the ones who are involved daily with the ins and outs of their work. Showing a willingness to be open to these ideas will allow your employees to feel heard, and may even move the task forward through the adoption of their new and innovative ideas.

5. Acknowledge jobs well done
Recognising employees for their work well done is a great way to boost morale and let them know their work is appreciated. Employees with higher morale will also care more about organisational outcomes, making them more efficient and productive.

6. Focus on employee development
Employees need to feel challenged at their work and know that they are continuing to improve their current skills and learn at their job, instead of stagnating. By identifying employees’ strengths and weaknesses and providing them with training needed for them to upskill themselves also signals to employees that the company values and is willing to invest in them, which can help to motivate them further.

7. Care about employees’ personal well-being
Further than their performance at work, it’s important that employees feel that they are not just another cog in the system, but that the organisation cares about them as well. A boss’ role is therefore extremely important in making employees feel cared for and valued. Showing an interest in employees’ personal life is one way to show that you aren’t only interested in what they can offer to the job.

8. Treat everyone equally
Treating all your employees equally is very important to build trust. By doing so, employees will feel that they can count on you to be fair to them no matter what, and they will also respect you more.

9. Hold yourself to the same standards you ask of your employees
Other than treating employees equally, a good boss holds himself or herself to the same high standards he expects of his or her employees. It’s especially important that employees know that you can also accomplish what you expect them to achieve, and by doing so, your employees will respect you more for being able to deliver what you said you would.

Although you don’t feel like you check all the boxes for being a good boss right now, rest assured that no boss is perfect. Though there is always room for improvement, your self-awareness on this is better than those who already think they are the perfect boss.