Congratulations! You finally made it! After all your hard work you have been awarded the opportunity to be a manager of other people, a boss. Now you can actually say “like a boss” and it’s genuine to who you are. Other men and women are going to look to you for answers, guidance, encouragement, and the occasional lecture on course correction. Whether it’s one or two people, or many people, you are their supervisor—they work for you.
So what do you do now?
Perhaps you’ve had great bosses in the past that have mentored you and now you feel confident that you can do the job. Maybe you had horrible bosses and want to do better than they did. But what does that look like? How do you manage other people well?
Here are 10 ways to be a great boss:
1. If you’re new to the role, ease into it.
Your team may be leery of change. They need to know that you are willing to take things slow and easy. No need to be a take the bull by the horns kind of person—that may cause anxiety among your team.
2. Be a listener.
Sometimes it’s tempting to think that as a boss you are supposed to do more talking, telling your employees what to do, how to do it. But remember that they have ideas to share and input about their roles that are important for you to hear. Plus, listening is the best way to really get to know your team members.
3. Give regular, on-going feedback.
Many companies participate in some sort of performance management process. It typically takes place once or perhaps twice a year. Managers will sit down with their employees one-on-one and discuss their job performance over a period of time. Sometimes managers will wait to discuss a work issue until performance management review time comes around, but a great boss won’t procrastinate. Discuss job-related problems or concerns with employees as they occur, giving the employee the opportunity to share their side and then come to an agreement on how to solve the issue. Waiting to have these discussions can lead to frustration individually and discord within the team. (Read about discussing issues in the workplace here.)
4. Get to know your team members.
While you don’t want to be all up in their personal lives, get to know the names of their spouses and children. If they have a hobby, ask them about it. Be sincere.
5. Find out your employees’ strengths and how to work with those strengths.
Team dynamics can be fantastic when everyone pulls together. There are resources to use such as StrengthsFinder (by Tom Rath and Gallup), Emotional Intelligence (by Bradberry and Greaves), DISC assessment, and Meyer-Briggs assessment. If you don’t know your strengths, you should take an assessment yourself.
6. Be willing to admit your shortcomings and when you’re wrong.
You are a boss, but you are still only human! Don’t let some idea of needing to be perfect or above reproach keep you from being open and honest with your team. You will earn their trust and respect when you’re able to admit you don’t always get it right.
7. Be a team player.
In short, don’t expect your employees to do something you’re not willing to do yourself. When the pressure is on, roll up your sleeves and jump in there, assisting your team to get the job done.
8. Celebrate with your team.
When you or a team member or the team as a whole has a reason to celebrate, join in. As a matter of fact, lead the celebration! Don’t be afraid to have fun at work.
9. Defend your team members when necessary.
Confront them when needed. Keep an open mind, but always be there for them, even if they’re in the wrong. You can do that by dealing with the wrongdoing swiftly or setting the record straight.
10. Believe in your employees.
Your team is likely made up of hardworking people with families, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. They will have ups and downs, good days and bad days. But they are in your life for a reason, and you have this opportunity to build them up and encourage them at work and in life. We all need to hear that we have value and that our work matters. As the boss, you can speak into that better than anyone else.
As we have often heard, “with great power comes great responsibility.” You may not think your role as boss is all that important so long as the work is getting done, but how you treat your employees will make all the difference in their lives and your own.
You’ll also like The 6 Qualities That Make a Female Leader Strong, Being a Successful Leader Starts With You, How to Get That Job Promotion, 2 Simple Secrets to Long-Term Success, The Truth in the Gender Pay Gap, and Do I Have to Act Like a Man to Be Successful at Work?