Do These 8 Things to Be a Better Boss

By Suzanne Kearns

3 min read

In today’s competitive environment, you should do all you can to attract competent, quality employees. One way to make your company more attractive to great employees is to offer them stellar leadership. In his book, Good Boss, Bad Boss, Robert Sutton says studies consistently show that the most stressful part of workers’ jobs is their boss. Here are eight things you can do to become a better boss to retain top employees.

1. Hold Everyone Equally Accountable

If some of your staff is carrying the bulk of the workload while others are falling short in their duties, those doing all of the work can find their morale dampened. Make sure to hold all of your employees equally accountable so some don’t feel they have to carry the load for others.

2. Recognize Employee Strengths and Publicly Praise Them

Everyone wants to feel appreciated, including your employees. And when you recognize their strengths, it will help solidify your working relationship with them. In addition, as you are training your employees and developing their talents, publicly praise them for their strengths and watch them gain confidence and motivation.

3. Give Criticism or Developmental Feedback in Private

Even the most talented employees will need your instructive criticism and feedback at times, but how you go about it will determine their response. The last thing you want to do is embarrass your employees in front of their peers when you need to correct some behavior or attitude. Instead, ask to speak to employees in private when you need to give them this type of feedback. Your employees will appreciate it, and likely be more open to what you have to say.

4. Trust Your Employees

When you hired your employees, you put a lot of thought and consideration into your selection. Now that they are a part of your team, you should make it clear that you trust them enough to do the job they were hired for. By letting them know that they are trusted members of your organization, they will feel more confident in using their strengths and skills in order to help build your company.

5. Exhibit Understanding and Empathy When Dealing With Personal Matters

Life happens, and when employees experience personal issues, a good boss empathizes and works to come up with a solution that is good for both the company and employees. To do this, put yourself in your employees’ shoes and try to help determine what they need to get past the crisis and still accomplish their work duties. They will appreciate you that much more when the crisis is over.

6. Don’t Micromanage

Nothing inhibits creativity and productivity more than a boss who micromanages employees. In order to be a boss who encourages employees to reach their goals, you should guide them when appropriate, but let them have the freedom to get the job done their way.

7. Invite Them to Be Part of the Process

Today’s employees want a boss who will allow them to be a part of the process on a given project or business operation, rather than simply barking orders. When you work with employees on a project, it’s important to share the necessary information, along with your vision for the outcome. Involve them in the process by letting them know you are open to their input, and then talking to them about your reasoning for why you did or didn’t implement it.

8. Remain Open to Feedback and Act on it When Appropriate

Employees can be the eyes and ears of your business, seeing things you might not be privy to. That’s why it’s important to remain open to any feedback they give you. You should make it clear that you are only interested in well-thought-out feedback that will further your company’s mission. In addition, it’s a good idea to select your most valued employees and ask them to consistently submit feedback for your consideration. And whether or not you decide to act on it, be sure to let them know why.

Great employees are the lifeblood of any company, and when you become the best boss you can be, your company will more likely attract and and retain the types of employees who can help it grow.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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