7 Things Every Great Boss Should Do
Management fads come and go, but some things just don’t change. The fundamental values of good leadership and management determine just how effective you really are as a boss. Great bosses consistently inspire employees to perform well and remain loyal. Needless to say, those qualities play a major role in the long-term success of your business.
Therefore, make sure you're doing the following seven things every day:
When things are going well in your organization, let people know--early and often. Publicly recognize productive employees for their contributions. Make a big deal about it. Encourage outstanding, sustained performance by showing your employees how much their efforts are appreciated. Studies show that acknowledging the great things your employees do can be more motivational than bonuses.
Set high standards for communication, productivity, and professionalism throughout your organization. During periods when these standards are not met, avoid assigning blame and singling out poor performance, as these responses only call attention to the problems. Find ways to get back on track as an organization. Don’t lower your standards, instead, partner with your employees and take on challenges as a team. Enlist your employees' input to identify blocking issues, focus attention on possible solutions, and strive to meet and exceed expectations.
Communicate clearly, professionally, and often. Employees expect their manager’s honest assessment of their performance. In order to credibly provide this feedback, excellent managers must thoroughly understand their organizations and accurately assess progress. When things are running smoothly, highlight what is working and communicate success throughout the organization. When problems arise, consider the potential impact you can have by constructively communicating your concerns. Remember that communication is a tool that can (and should) inspire and motivate as well as identify and resolve problems.
Learn to trust your employees. Bosses who believe employees are capable and responsible encourage autonomy while also creating a strong sense of community through out the organization. To establish trust, create a safe, positive working environment with open, honest, two-way communication. Trust that your employees will meet or exceed organizational goals when working in a productive, safe, and supportive environment.
Set up your employees for success, not failure. Provide them with the tools and training they need to reach their full potential, and to meet and exceed the standards you have set. Encourage them to identify their strengths and what motivates them. When possible, incorporate what drives them into their daily tasks..
Ensure that your employees feel challenged with their jobs, but not overwhelmed. Create a clean, well-maintained, and organized working environment where they can do their work and feel comfortable. Delegate tasks appropriately and look for opportunities to maximize each employee's strengths.
Make your employees feel like they are a part of something special and that their efforts are truly appreciated. Involve them directly in the success of the organization. Create and cultivate a sense of camaraderie, where people feel it is fun to come to work, because it is a positive and productive environment and they feel they are part of an efficient, skilled, and highly successful community.
These practices and behaviors will have a major impact on the effectiveness of your employees. Be the very best boss you can be and your employees will step up. When you get the very best from your people, your business will be tough to beat.
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While Peter Economy has spent the better part of two decades of his life slugging it out mano a mano in the management trenches, he is also the best-selling author of Managing for Dummies, The Management Bible, Leading Through Uncertainty, and more than 75 other books, with total sales in excess of two million copies. He has also served as associate editor for Leader to Leader for more than 10 years, where he has worked on projects with the likes of Jim Collins, Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and many other top management and leadership thinkers. Sign up here to always stay up to date with Peter's latest Inc.com columns, and visit him anytime at petereconomy.com.