Are You a Good Boss?

A recent worldwide survey by CEB (a member-based advisory company) of about 18,000 employees revealed that one third of those surveyed would change job for a better boss! The same survey also showed that UK employees were the most likely to change jobs in the near future. This shocking figure suggests that UK managers are not good bosses. How has this situation arisen?

One suggestion is that with companies becoming increasingly flatter, managers are having to spread themselves thinly and so have less time with each of their direct reports. This can create problems, because each manager/employee interaction takes on greater significance for the employee. Thus, one poor interaction (which would have been insignificant if the manager spent more time with each team member) causes problems because it is not balanced by other, positive, interactions.

It is still possible to be a “good boss” if you have the right people skills and are able to lead effectively. Here are 5 areas to focus on:

1. Set Tough Goals.
Tough goals that are ambitious but achievable create a sense of purpose and urgency. Work on motivation has shown the link between tough goals and performance.

2. Expect the Best.
Managers expect a lot from themselves but can make things too “cosy” for their team. Don’t. Be as demanding of others as you are of yourself. Challenging your team to push their boundaries by getting them really thinking about how they can do things differently will get better results.

3. Earn Respect.
A good leader will work hard to earn respect from others. People may not always like you, but effective leaders recognise that it is more important to be respected than adored. As a manager you will be called on to make tough decisions that will secure the future of the company and the team. To earn respect do not shy away from these.

4. Demonstrate Confidence & Trust.
Build your people up, show through your every action that you have confidence that they can achieve the tough goals that you have set them. Give them your trust and they will do great things. Give them the space and time and they will grow and flourish.

5. Be an Example.
Leadership is about how you do things. Act as you would want others to behave because people will do what you do, not what you tell them to do. It helps to think of your behaviour as a shadow – following you in everything you say and do. What shadow are you casting?

5. Keep Learning.
You are ultimately responsible for your own success. It takes time to develop effective people management and leadership skills, but with hard work and perseverance you can become the “good boss” employees change jobs to be with!