We all know a great boss when we see one… but becoming one is less straightforward. What’s key in being a top-notch honcho?
A strong leader is an asset to any company. Good managers inspire their employees to work hard, both for themselves and for their team. They balance business with personal needs, striving toward company goals while remaining focused on employees’ careers.
Experts offer five tips to get you on your way to being a great boss.
Employees turn to their leaders for guidance. Strong managers make themselves available to assist with questions and concerns. “A great boss should be accessible to his or her employees and make time to collaborate and consult with them on a regular basis,” says Tina Strehlke, Director of Communications for Training Innovations in Burnaby, B.C.
Good managers tell their employees what they do well and how they can improve. “Everyone likes to hear positive feedback, but to learn and grow we need to hear constructive feedback,” explains Ms. Strehlke. “By providing regular feedback to employees, a great boss helps individuals enhance their performance and feel recognized.”
Great bosses know when to loosen the reins and delegate tasks to their staff. They don’t try to control every aspect of their business. Instead, they empower their employees by sharing responsibilities. Melanie Hardy, manager at Vancouver’s YWCA Career Zone, says effective leaders have the vision to balance the big picture with the little picture. “Great bosses don’t get too involved in micromanagement and the nitty-gritty details, but have a firm plan of action,” she says.
Strong leaders set clear expectations and provide easy-to-understand instructions. Victoria Pazukha, employment counsellor at Craft Centre in Vancouver, says good managers understand the needs of both the company and the employees. “They can be open-minded and be good listeners. They are able to see different perspectives and integrate them into a specific set of workplace actions.”
Leaders set the tone for the work environment. If they have fun at work, chances are their employees will enjoy themselves too. “Good managers are people who have a good sense of humour and can make fun of themselves,” Ms. Pazukha notes.