How to Be a Better Boss

Being the boss is harder than it looks. Not only are you responsible for measurable outcomes, but you also have to effectively manage employees with different abilities and personalities. Whether you’re new at supervising employees or an experienced manager hoping to improve your skills, read on for tips for being a better boss.

Make Expectations Clear

Employees aren’t mind readers. What may seem obvious to you may not be so obvious to an employee, particularly a new hire. Make responsibilities clear and if you have additional expectations, such as filling in for absent employees, make those clear as well. Procedures should be clearly outlined, preferably in writing so that the employee can reference them at any time instead of having to ask someone. It’s much easier to be upfront with an employee than to be angry or passive aggressive when they don’t live up to your expectations.

Give Constructive Feedback

Feedback and criticism should be constructive and help the employee improve. Proper feedback is clear about problems and potential solutions. Bad feedback is simply critical without any specifics or tips for improvement. Criticism should be balanced with praise, because it’s likely your employee has good qualities as well.

Don’t Micromanage

If you hire the right people, make expectations clear and give constructive feedback, you shouldn’t need to micromanage. Micromanaged employees are likely to feel resentment and even anxiety, which can negatively impact performance. When employees feel some sense of autonomy they’re not only happier but more productive.

Be Consistent

Consistency is important when following and enforcing policies and procedures. It’s fine to make exceptions occasionally, but don’t do it so much that you confuse your employees or cause resentment. Be consistent with feedback and do what you say you’re going to do. Consistency is crucial to earning the respect of your employees.

Show Appreciation

Your employees can make your job much easier and can make you look good to your superiors. Therefore, it’s important to show appreciation when an employee or team does a good job. Praise can motivate employees to do their best because they know you’ll appreciate it. If you never give recognition, you’re employees may just do the minimum required to get by because they don’t feel appreciated and assume you aren’t paying attention.

Don’t Ignore Problems

Many managers choose to ignore issues hoping that they’ll resolve themselves, but instead of going away they usually get bigger. Address issues head-on, whether they be interpersonal issues or complications with a project. Problem employees and interpersonal conflicts are the most commonly ignored issues, and the most difficult to address. However, as the boss, it’s your responsibility to stop them before they get worse and hamper productivity or employee morale. Good interpersonal skills are a must-have if you wish to be an effective manager.

To an employee, the boss has an easy job – sit back and let the employees do all the work while collecting a fat paycheck. But once you sit in the boss’s chair, you realize how difficult it is to manage both employees and business operations. The best managers earn the respect of their employees by taking an active part in their employees’ work and taking action even when it’s difficult.