October 16 is National Boss’s Day, the day employees thank their bosses for their contributions to the workforce. To honor the day, we’ve created a list of five characteristics good bosses share. Where does yours fit in?
1. Flexibility. Bosses, from middle managers to C-level executives, face changes during the course of their jobs. These days, it might have to do more with downsizing or restructuring, but good company times bring upheavals, too.
A good boss reacts to change in a proactive way. She supports her organization by making the changes it requires. At the same time, she communicates clearly and respectfully to her employees about upcoming changes. Her behavior informs employees’ perspective of the change, affecting their reactions. A panicked manager can bring down an entire team. A good manager knows this, and reacts to change with poise.
2. Knowledge. A good boss knows his company, his field, and his employees. He helps his company grow and prosper by executing the tasks required of him. His knowledge of his field helps him suggest new innovations, directions, and projects that will benefit the company.
He also knows his employees’ personalities well enough to know how they feel about their jobs. He regularly drops in and talks to them, learning about their concerns, ideas, and achievements. That way, employees feel supported, and the boss can help drive individuals and the team in the direction it needs to go. The company benefits as a result.
3. Job satisfaction. If a boss doesn’t like her job, she transmits her dismay to her team. The individuals in her team suffer as a result. Have you ever had a boss who does things half-assed? Or one so insecure in her position that she tries too hard to control her workforce? It doesn’t make for a good working experience–or a good team.
4. Organizational concern. You might think the best bosses are concerned more with their employees than their company. This is not the case. An employee-centric boss may bend to his employees’ needs, but they won’t see him as much of a savior if he drives his team or company into the ground.
A good boss works to secure his organization’s good fortune, ideally creating more jobs in the process. He balances his organization’s needs with those of his employees. If the interests of his organization clash with his employees, he is a successful liaison between the two. He knows that being a boss isn’t only about his employees, or about his own career advancement. It is about mobilizing his workers to do a good job for the organization.
5. Respect. A good boss treats coworkers with respect, no matter what level of the organization those people operate in. He respects people as individuals, regardless of age, working background, race, religion, or political beliefs. He recognizes that each of his employees provide the company with a valuable service. That service matters more than an employee’s belief structure or background. Not being respectful fosters fear and resentment–hardly the ingredients for a successful team.
If you’re an employee, wish your boss Happy Boss’s Day with a card, gift, or friendly email. If you’re a boss, Happy Boss’s Day!