It is probably a safe bet to say that most folks who manage other people think that they are a good boss. After all, we have all had bad bosses, and no one likes working for a bad one, let alone thinking that they are the bad boss. As you may remember, I wrote “Top 10 Signs You Are a Bad Boss” in an earlier column, you can read that article here.
The truth is, all bosses are not created equal. So which are you? Let’s find out. Here are the top 10 signs that you really are a good boss.
1. You are receptive to employee’s input: The best bosses know that when they hire someone, they are hiring that person’s smarts, talent, initiative and abilities. While employees may not have the experience or knowledge that you have, they will come up with ideas on how things could be done differently. You should acknowledge and respect their contributions, so they feel valued and confident to share these ideas with you.
2. You stay above the fray: We all know that petty (and not so petty) office politics are part of life. The bad boss gets involved in that sort of minutiae, often seeing it as a way to gain leverage over someone or some situation. The good boss knows that it is his or her job not only to avoid such situations (let alone not exacerbate them) but in fact should look to foster harmony and diminish discord.
3. You lead: You are their boss, not their friend (well, you might be their friend too, but that’s beside the point.) Your job at work is to set an example, have a vision, and get people to buy into that vision. You know – be a leader.
4. You know that fun is part of the game: Great bosses understand that a workplace that is dry and boring is one where you don’t get the best out of people. Employees want to make money, sure, but they also want to socialize, sharpen their skills, and yes, have a good time. Allowing that makes for a more interesting, creative and fun place to work. It boosts morale . . . and the bottom line.
5. You care about career development: Bad bosses do not provide opportunities for their employees to take on more interesting or challenging work – bad bosses may even hog all the good projects. This short-sighted approach may result in a high turnover.
6. You make time to get to know your employees: A good boss knows that it’s important to be invested (and even interested) in your employees as individuals. If an employee has a big life event, show you care by giving a note or a small gift.
7. You are not a jerk: A good boss knows that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. So you don’t yell. You do not berate. You are respectful and kind. Sure you can be tough on occasion, but that is more the exception than the rule.
8. You understand that employees have other obligations: A good boss understands that employees have lives outside of work. For instance, an employee may need to occasionally leave work early to make an appointment or to take care of family needs.
9. You reward a job well done: Even if your budget is tight, you can rest assured that you are a good boss if you reward people. It might be a small bonus or a day off or tickets to the game, but whatever the case, good bosses acknowledge and reward people for a job well done.
10. People are loyal to you: No one is loyal to a bad boss. Good bosses foster loyalty and get people to go above and beyond because employees like working for them.
So are you a good boss or do you know one? Share your story.
About Steve Strauss
Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here.