Being a good boss is about more than having a mug.
People like to work for nice bosses, this is a pretty commonly accepted fact. In fact, people only really talk about two kinds of bosses: the really good ones, and the really bad ones. If you’re a boss or in some kind of boss-like position within your company, I’m guessing you don’t want to be in the latter category. The problem with trying to be a “fun” boss, though, is that some bosses take it too far; they shower employees with presents, fritter away company funds, and no work gets done. The best kind of boss, at least in a practical sense, is one that can inspire their employees to do their best through encouragement and appreciation. So how does one do that?
- Maintain a dialogue: Say hi to your employees, ask them how they’re doing. Don’t be that guy who just wordlessly comes in every day and locks themselves in their office until someone needs to be yelled at. Leave your door open, walk around a little, engage in some water cooler talk. You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, you just have to, y’know, exist.
- Give good feedback: When someone does their job well, tell them. When they mess something up, tell them. It’s important to let your employees know when they’re doing something right and when something needs to be improved upon. Just don’t do both at the same time, it’s patronizing.
- Make growth available: Nothing is more frustrating than feeling like you’re in dead-end work. Let your employees know that they have opportunities for better titles and higher wages. Don’t just say it, though, find it. If you’re at the top of the food chain, see if you can accommodate promotions. If you’re not, sell your higher ups on your skilled employees. If they’re doing enough to earn your praise, you need to show them.
- Be flexible: People need to miss work sometimes. Life happens, and sometimes employees are late or need to leave early. Unless your office is in some sort of crunch (which it shouldn’t be if you’re doing your job), it’s not a world-ending calamity to miss a little work. Just make it clear to your employees that they need to keep you up to date on this stuff as much as they can, and if it happens, it happens.