In the working world, bosses usually fall into one of three categories: bad bosses, good bosses, and bosses that are just okay. You've likely had one of these so far in your career. And then, once in a blue moon comes along a great boss—one that brings out the best in you and makes showing up to work a truly valuable experience.
Does your boss go above and beyond? Read on to find out what a talented and nurturing leader does daily for employees.
1. Gives recognition and feedback
A great boss sets out clear expectations and then lets you know regularly how you’re doing. Are you meeting expectations? Exceeding them? Are there a few areas where you need more focus? Also, when you succeed or go above and beyond, great bosses show you they’ve seen your extra effort and that they recognize how hard you've been working. Without this kind of validation—even the critical feedback—how can an employee hope to grow?
2. Helps you market yourself
Bosses have access to all kinds of data you may not. If your boss commends you for a new initiative or for reaching a set goal, that’s good. If they help dig up the numbers, i.e. the proof of the impact your actions have made for the company or industry, then they are arming you to succeed even more. Sure, your boss knows you might use these stats to market yourself elsewhere one day, but that's not the point—the mark of a great boss is caring about the growth and development of employees, no matter where they may land.
3. Empowers you to do great things
You’re not just allowed to voice your concerns and frustrations as they arise, you’re invited to—no, expected to. The environment of your office is one in which employees are empowered to take on challenges of logistics, products, processes, and procedures with the aim of bettering the company for themselves and everyone else involved. Great bosses aren’t threatened by giving their employees this leeway—they know change from the inside is good change.
4. Runs efficient meetings
A great boss's meetings not only are short, sweet, and to the point—they are also only called when necessary. Great bosses don’t waste their time—or anybody else’s—on time-wasting trips to the conference room where people jot down useless notes. They keep the meeting schedule lean and mean and make each moment count for something. Employees leave meetings energized and keyed up to work, rather than feeling that the same things have been rehashed a different way.
5. Encourages your personal growth
Great bosses help you to further your career, even if that means you’ll take your new knowledge and experience and leave your current position or company a little sooner. They give you projects and initiatives that match your interests and ambitions so you don't feel stuck in a rut. They also encourage you to take risks and give you the resources and support for those risks to bear fruit for both of you.
6. Stands up for work-life balance
Great bosses dial down the micromanaging and make sure their employees aren’t going home (or coming in to work) exhausted and depleted. They encourage you to take your vacation days, to make use of wellness plans, and to take regular breaks for fresh air, food, and hydration. They want you to flourish as a whole person, not just as some employee robot on their assembly line. And they never get their panties in a bunch about how long you take for coffee breaks or lunch—as long as you get your work done well. They loosen the reins and let you find your own stride.
7. Gives credit where credit is due
Great bosses won’t take credit for your ideas when they’re reporting to their bosses—they'll make it clear that a good idea was yours, thereby pushing you up the ladder and commending themselves for having hired you and cultivated your talent. Giving credit is a staple trait of good leadership, but it is unfortunately rare.
8. Creates a welcoming office culture
In a healthy workplace, employees feel safe and heard. Great bosses create and cultivate this environment. They earn trust and help their team maintain a real sense of camaraderie. In a great office culture, failures are merely opportunities to learn. Weak links are supported and helped along the path to improvement. Team members are chosen deliberately to complement this community of learning and growth.
If your boss is good, consider yourself lucky. If your boss is one of the great ones, soak up all the knowledge you can—you've been given a rare professional gift that you should use to your advantage!
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