How To Be A Better Boss

Last Updated
December 1, 2023

Learning how to be a better boss is crucial, as we've all experienced that one employer who was impossible to please, always finding fault with our work and making us dread coming in.

On the flip side, some of us have been fortunate enough to work under a fantastic boss — an influential leader who genuinely cared about us as individuals, respected our input, and inspired us to do our best.

The former often leads to dismal morale and high turnover rates among workers, while the latter can boost employees' output and establish a high-performance culture. So, what exactly makes the difference? Why does one leader outperform another? And how can you, as a person, become a better boss?

If you're struggling to connect with your employees, we suggest reading How To Improve Interpersonal Relationships In The Workplace.

A confident leader standing in front of a diverse team in a post about how to be a better boss

How To Be A Better Boss

Being a leader is no easy task. Below are some strategies to help you become a better boss.

Solve Problems Effectively

  • Recognize when and how to intervene in different situations.
  • Utilize standard procedures like root-cause analysis and process mapping for problem-solving.
  • Analyze what's working and what could be improved, and involve the team or specific groups for solutions.
  • Identify the underlying issue, avoiding blame and focusing on systems and practices.
  • Conduct root-cause analysis with a knowledgeable team to identify, understand, and solve the problem.
  • Stay calm and composed; avoid directing anger towards employees.
A manager attentively listening to an employee in a post about how to be a better boss

Be A Better Listener

  • Value the ability to listen as much as the ability to speak persuasively.
  • Understand that many managers struggle with employee interactions and feedback.
  • Encourage staff to voice their opinions, boosting their confidence and communication skills.
  • Gain insights and familiarity with your team to make informed management decisions. [1][2]
A leader standing firm amidst a stormy background in a post about how to be a better boss

Be Resilient In The Face Of Uncertainty And Pressure

  • Take responsibility and respond effectively to challenges.
  • Adapt to rapid changes in the global environment.
  • Show true character in adversity, maintaining composure and clear thinking.
  • Develop resilience through well-defined goals, leadership skills, a positive outlook, relevant experience, self-confidence, and social support.
  • Maintain physical and mental health for overall resilience.

Treat Employees With Respect

  • Understand the complexities of the boss-employee relationship.
  • Delegate tasks, set deadlines, and ensure work completion while respecting employees.
  • Provide constructive and positive feedback, respect employees' autonomy and personal time.
  • Foster a positive and productive work environment through mutual respect.
Coffee break in a post about how to be a better boss

Build Personal Relationships

  • Make the workplace enjoyable, recognizing the significant time employees spend there.
  • Avoid negative management behaviors like yelling or playing favorites.
  • Offer perks like ergonomic chairs, meals, and office massages.
  • Celebrate wins and reward efforts creatively.

Encourage Work-life Balance

  • Prevent employee burnout by valuing their happiness and productivity.
  • Offer flexible schedules, especially during less busy periods.
  • Recognize and support employees' need for a balanced work-life.
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Incorporate A Shared Vision

  • Clearly communicate the company's goals and stakes to inspire confidence.
  • Involve employees in decision-making to foster commitment to the company's vision.
  • Encourage collaboration towards a common goal through leadership skill development.

Encourage Discipline

  • Balance niceness with the necessity of maintaining order and obedience.
  • Adhere to and enforce company policies and guidelines.
  • Be willing to impose necessary punishments while inspiring confidence.
An employee climbing a metaphorical ladder in a post about how to be a better boss

Challenge Them

  • Prevent monotony by assigning challenging tasks.
  • Encourage employees to overcome limitations and achieve goals.
  • Trust them with difficult assignments for professional and personal growth.

Get The Best From Your Team Member

  • Recognize that effective management may require developing new skills.
  • Learn to delegate, provide feedback, and invest in employees' growth.
  • Understand the importance of delegation for team efficiency.
A professional attending a leadership seminar in a post about how to be a better boss

Invest In Yourself And Your Future By Enrolling In A Leadership Program

  • Assess your leadership skills and identify areas for improvement.
  • Understand the value of comprehensive leadership development.
  • Consider management training courses to enhance leadership skills. [3]

Hire Better Employees

  • Excel in staffing by finding and hiring qualified employees.
  • Choose team members who contribute positively to the organization.
  • Explore resources like books on development economics for further insights.
A cheerful boss greeting team members  in a post about how to be a better boss

Put Off A Positive Mood

  • Excel in staffing by finding and hiring qualified employees.
  • Choose team members who contribute positively to the organization.
  • Explore resources like books on development economics for further insights.

Traits Of A Good Boss

Mostly, employees don't quit jobs, they quit bad bosses. You don't want to be a bad boss.

What are the traits of a good and effective boss? Let's take a look:

Communicates Clear Vision

When people come to work, they want to contribute meaningfully and do a decent job. Leaders that effectively convey the company's purpose to their staff should expect a more invested and productive team.

This motivates workers to take an active role in achieving the company's goals.

in a post about how to be a better boss

Sets Performance Expectations

Employees report higher stress levels when their roles, position, and responsibilities are unclear.

An effective manager will clarify employees' expectations by offering detailed job descriptions that outline their duties and include attainable goals for the company's success.

Provides Feedback

Employees may not always be aware when they are falling short of expectations.

One of the many leadership skills of successful leaders is to help employees grow and improve. The relationship with employees can be strengthened by regular feedback.

in a post about how to be a better boss

Supportive

Nobody likes their employer more than they hate their job. What distinguishes a great boss from a bad boss is the quality time spent supporting employees.

As a result, the manager shouldn't be a doormat. Those who report working under a caring manager report greater job satisfaction, lower levels of stress, and more productivity.

Reward Efforts

One of the important hallmarks of a great manager is showing appreciation for staff and publicly rewarding hard work.

Employees will always value recognition, whether in the form of a certificate, award, luncheon, or email.

in a post about how to be a better boss

Gets To Know Employees

A good manager and boss take the time to stop by the office and show genuine interest in their staff.

When a boss takes an active interest in an employee's personal life, including their hobbies, training, career, family, and other pursuits, it sends a strong message that the worker is valued.

Adds Some Fun To The Workplace

Every worker appreciates a positive and enjoyable workplace. Monthly potlucks, birthday celebrations, and door decoration contests are easy ways to bring joy to the workplace. Such gatherings might serve as excellent opportunities for team bonding and entertainment.

in a post about how to be a better boss

Decisive

A bad leader avoids making decisions or causes them to linger for too long. Leaders that excel at their jobs are quick to make decisions and never suffer from "analysis paralysis."

Leaders should remember that decision-making is often more crucial than the outcome itself. Bosses that act quickly and with conviction will make mistakes, but they will keep their teams moving forward.

Indecisiveness, however, can do irreparable harm to your business and reputation, whereas wrong decisions can be corrected.

Conclusion

Being a better manager calls for a lot of time and effort, as well as self-control, discipline, and empathy. It also necessitates perpetual study and exercise. Since people are, in general, difficult to deal with, you may find that many of your expectations are dashed.

You will have a better chance of being an effective leader, though, if you are genuinely committed to taking charge and can successfully take charge of yourself first.

FAQ

Why Do New Bosses Fail?

Most new bosses fail because they weren't properly trained to be leaders and have bad attitudes.

References

  1. hbr; Two-Thirds of Managers Are Uncomfortable Communicating with Employees
  2. hbr; How to Become a Better Listener
  3. media; Research Insights

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