10 Ways to Become a Better Boss
Becoming a great boss is a journey. Just because you’re proficient at what you do doesn’t mean you’ll become a leader. So whether you’ve recently found yourself promoted or are a long time leader, read through our ten ways to become a better boss to reach your leadership potential today.
- Be passionate
Great bosses all have the same quality—they are passionate about their work and this passion and drive for quality and perfection influences everything they touch. Passion is extremely contagious in the workplace and has the ability to positively influence your staff and strike an enthusiasm and hunger for a job well done.
- Invest in the team
Avoid micromanaging the smaller tasks and train and invest in building both individuals and the team (or don’t, but know your employees will find another boss and company who is more willing to invest in them, instead.) Talk about the future—show your employees what can be accomplished as a team and where you are leading them. Similarly, don’t be remiss in talking with your team individually about how they might advance in their careers at your company.
- Set tangible goals
Part of motivating your team to reach new heights is actively developing and setting new and tangible goals. Make sure that objectives are clearly defined and preferably measurable. It’s important to also include team members in the goal setting process. The only way to get everyone working cohesively and excited about new challenges is to ensure that these goals align with their own.
- Be personable
You don’t need to be best friends (and in most cases you probably shouldn’t be), but remember that it is okay to be friendly and sociable with your workers. A simple “good morning” or “have a nice weekend” can give your team some much-needed recognition. Plus, by engaging with them on more than just work-related topics you set a foundation for a relationship built on trust, approachability, and respect.
- Recognize individuality
Good bosses don’t treat their employees like numbers in an Excel sheet. In fact, what makes your business so successful is the diverse and unique set of skills each employee brings to the table. Tailor tasks to the strengths of your employees and actively seek ways to improve their weaknesses.
- Be a good coach
Tailor your training and instruction to each employee. To some employees daily instruction might be considered micromanagement. To others, it shows you are invested in the work and their effort has meaning. Determine what works best for each employee. More than just standing on the sidelines and rooting for your employees to do their best, you should also proactively provide them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. Talk to your employees and schedule regular one-on-one meetings to address any concerns they have and to pinpoint ways in which you can help them do their job better.
- Share knowledge
Be open and share knowledge with your team. Employees are often hesitant to get involved only because they lack the understanding or know-how to do specific tasks. Even if an employee isn’t directly involved with a particular project, bring them into the loop and explain how the project fits into the overall vision of your business. The knowledge and inclusion of everyone can go a long way to boost individual job performance.
- Delegate responsibility
A good boss is someone who is comfortable assigning tasks to employees and capable of relinquishing control. Giving your employees autonomous control of certain duties shows that you not only trust their abilities, but are confident they’ll get the job done well. In the end, they’ll work hard to prove you right.
- Communicate well
Poor communication can be a detriment to any great boss. Employees crave feedback—even if it’s less than positive. If you want your employees to not just fulfill but also exceed in their roles, you need to regularly and effectively communicate those expectations. In practical terms, don’t just tell them “great job,” tell them, “great job on balancing the quality of your presentation with the other project deadlines we had.”
- Recognize work worth of praise
Great work should never go unrewarded or unacknowledged. If an employee has done an exceptional job, praise them for it. Recognition of exceptional performance has the power to boost your employee’s confidence, validate their worth to your company, and encourage them to continue working hard.
Your role as supervisor or boss is contingent on fostering relationships and developing trust with your employees. The old adage is that people don’t leave companies; they leave bosses. In fact, one study found that 38 percent of workers leave their job because of a poor relationship with their boss or supervisor. If you have trouble holding on to talented workers be mindful that your title is not an end but rather an ongoing responsibility and partnership that requires daily nurturing.