Personally, I have never had a perfect boss and do not believe they exist! On the other hand, I have had good bosses. These good bosses were flawed, made mistakes, and failed at things but wanted what was best for the company and its employees. Whether your immediate boss is a lead person, supervisor, manager, or corporate head, there are commonalities in their behavior and characteristics.
- A good boss makes their employees feel valued.
When the boss walks into the room and addresses everyone present, whether individually or as a group, it is a form of recognition and/or acknowledgment that you are part of a team. A “thank you” or a “please” can mean a lot and goes a long way in making that employee feel valued and empowered.
While verbal accolades are great sometimes more is needed to show an employee that he/she is valued. In addition to natural appreciation, a good boss will take other measures to prove they believe in the employee’s value. For instance, a good boss will take a few moments after project completion and handwrite a thank you or present the employee with a gift card or personalize an email to reflect on how the employee excelled. This could include noting specific areas of team leadership, recognizing them for performance improvements, or highlighting a specific skill the individual users without which the project likely would not have succeeded.
- A good boss will be invested in employee development, even if it means developing employees in ways that seemingly compete with their own job.
As an example, if the boss is generally responsible for organizing a customer event, but they know the employee has an interest in conference planning, they can delegate this project to the employee. The value-add to the boss is freeing up time for other tasks while developing the ability of the employee.
- A good boss is sensitive to those individuals on the team who struggle.
On some occasions, a struggling employee may merely need to be reassigned to a more suitable role; in other instances, it is a lack of training and development. A good boss knows when it is the latter and begins helping. For example, new technology has an employee confused. A good boss may evaluate and determine that sending them to a training seminar may be the solution. If several employees are requiring support, then bringing a trainer onsite may be the answer. Taking the time to search out the right strategy to resolve employee frustration will empower the team while also showing that the boss values them enough to invest this way.
Good Boss – Perfect Boss: The call is yours!