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Tips For Being a Great Boss

Published July 22, 2011        by Sarah

Work Meeting

Perhaps you’ve been newly promoted and want to make a good impression on your colleagues. Or maybe you’ve been the boss so long that you’re fresh out of ideas on how to improve your relationship with your coworkers. This Boss’s Day, give everyone in your department something to celebrate. Here are some fresh ideas for being the best boss you can be.

Remember When

No one is born being the boss. Most everyone has had to start small and work their way up the ladder. Remember what it was like for you when you first started out. Maybe you were like the nervous college grad that’s too afraid to speak up at meetings, or maybe you felt like you had to really prove yourself by going above and beyond every day. You’re the boss now, so you can make it easier on your direct reports. Why not offer to take that college grad out to lunch and give him some advice on how to be more confident? Write a hand-written note thanking that one employee who always stays late and really goes the extra mile. When you step into the shoes of your employees, you make them feel that you really care and understand where they are coming from.

Perks Money Can’t Buy

Maybe you can’t offer everyone another day off or an extra holiday. But what you can do is be sympathetic to your employees. And you can offer them a great working environment that’s more precious than a day off. Does the crew have to work this Thanksgiving? Bring in a turkey dinner for the staff to share during lunch so they won’t feel they’ve missed all of the holiday. Do you have a great employee who never asks for anything?  Offer him a few minutes of extra time to run errands at lunch. Is there a single mom who has no child care when school is unexpectedly closed one morning? Let her bring her child in to the office for a few hours. Anything extra you can offer your employees to show them you’re sympathetic will result in better attitudes all around. Then, when you need them to go the extra mile for you on a project, they’ll be more than willing.

Treat Everyone as an Individual

Does a certain employee come in yawning a lot in the morning? Don’t assume he’s lazy. Ask if he’d like to talk about anything. Maybe he’ll let you know he’s going to night school to finish his degree or that he hasn’t been sleeping well because he’s worried about his wife’s health. Instead of grouping people into categories, treat each person as an individual. They’ll be more apt to think of you as a great boss because you cared enough to ask about their lives.

Hold Informal Lunches

Once in a while, host an informal lunch where your employees can eat with you and discuss any concerns they may have with the work environment. If they’re reluctant to share aloud, invite them to drop questions or suggestions into a box anonymously and go over them at the luncheon. Provide foods that are easy to eat and those with limited lunch breaks can grab quickly. Make yourself known as the boss that listens and you’ll have more dedicated employees.

Read this great article on Boss's Day Gift Ideas.