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How Good a Boss Are You?

Are you a good boss? And what does that question even mean? A good boss to one person may not be a good boss to another. One employee may want a boss who stays out of her way; another may see that boss as a “not so good one,” and prefer a boss that provides guidance and frequent “check-ins.”

A recent article in Business on Main provided Seven Tips for Becoming a Better Boss. Check out the article for some great advice to improve how you effectively manage and lead your workforce. The tips in the article are gleaned from leaders of companies recognized in the Best Small Workplaces list.

Let me add to those tips based on what I have seen at some of my clients’ workplaces.

Be accessible. The best bosses I have seen are those that are accessible to employees. They have an “open door” policy. They are available to answer questions. In addition, they walk around to check in with employees to see how things are going and what challenges employees are facing, rather than just sitting back and waiting for employees to come to them.

Communicate regularly. On a regular basis (not just once a month at the “all hands” meeting) communicate with your employees about the business and what is going on. Ask them about client interactions, talk to them about the company’s strategy, share what is happening within other departments.

Provide opportunities. Ask employees to participate on special projects – such as a review of processes, development of best practices, launch of a new product or service. Enable them to attend an upcoming conference or industry event. This enables them to develop new skills and increase their knowledge.

Get to know your employees. Get to know your employees. It’s easier to build a relationship with others when you know something personal about them. How do they like spending their weekends, what are their hobbies, are they married with children? Remember to share a bit about yourself also!

Provide regular feedback. Regularly tell your employees how they are doing (not just once or twice a year during performance reviews). When an employee does an outstanding job – thank them for their work and let everyone know what they did. If you need to talk to an employee about particular behavior that is inappropriate in the workplace, do so immediately and in private. Help them get back on track.

What are your thoughts for how to be a better boss to your employees? Are you the boss? Share what has worked for you. Are you the employee? What have some of the best bosses that you have worked for done?

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