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What makes a good boss?

Last updated: 06 April 2022

What makes a good boss?

Friendly without being lenient, authoritarian but approachable, a team player yet able to retain just the right amount of aloofness – these may be considered just some of the qualities needed to be a good boss.

As head of a company or department a manager has a team of workers to help produce the results needed for success, but how is it possible to motivate them to do so? A boss needs to encourage their staff to want to put their time and effort into the success of a business. With the above merits, a sprinkling of common sense and the notion firmly planted that communication really is key it is possible to get the most out of a workforce and the results needed, with minimal fuss.

Communication may not just be the make or break of a personal union but it may also be instrumental in the nurturing of fruitful business relationships. Building a working environment based upon open communication creates friendly surroundings where every voice is heard and ideas are listened to. Failure to foster this approach could kill off enthusiasm – more so than bad pay, lack of career progression or even having to work long hours.

A manager should always do their utmost to adopt the ‘door is always open’ approach. Workers need to feel able to speak to their boss should they have a problem, personal or professional. If a boss is seen as unapproachable then problems could be mounting and by the time they inadvertently leak out, it may be too late. Equally staff must know that they will not get away with slothful behaviour and policies really need to be clear. A boss has to make sure the rules remain constant, as workers need stability, along with an example to follow!

The hardest thing to keep an eye on in business is office politics. We all want to work in a comfortable, positive environment therefore a manager must keep an eye on conflicts. Before problems arise a healthy way to keep everyone talking is to have regular meetings. If managers communicate issues between staff amongst themselves then there is the danger that more problems will be caused through the ‘Chinese whispers’ scenario. This will create negative energy, which will breed unhappiness and ultimately lead to a lack of productivity.

Regularly giving staff a blank canvas to voice their opinions without fear of retribution is a great way to nip problems in the bud so make meetings a regular occurrence and ensure that all staff receive a yearly appraisal. If workers feel they can say what they really want or feel without being punished, they are likely to feel happier rather than bottling things up and becoming angry.

Other motivations could come in the form of incentive schemes – anything from extra pay for people who don’t take sick days to nights out when targets are met. Staff might be offered share options or even a yearly bonus. These are great ways to show employees that their work is appreciated and that the success of the company will be shared with them.

All these things may seem like common sense and to some, being a good boss is something you either have or not. This may be partially true – the quality that sets a manager aside from their staff is the natural ability to make people want to work for them but it doesn’t hurt to play an active role in building better relationships by building on any natural qualities.

Build on communication – give praise where it’s due – provide positive feedback coupled with constructive criticism – always remain neutral – be fair at all times

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