In the advent of our upcoming infographic, we here at Cactus Search have been thinking, what makes a great boss? It might seem rather easy to answer, a great boss is someone with positive and hardworking traits– however, for some bosses, it can often be easy to lose sight of those traits in the rapid race of hitting targets and making money.
Taking the idea from the recent Hollywood Blockbuster ‘Horrible Bosses’ we’ve done a little search around for a consensus of traits that employees find favourable in their bosses and in doing so, have identified five main points:
I. Don’t just be a boss, be a coach.
It’s really important that as a boss you aren’t just someone shouting out orders. A great boss communicates with his team; he develops his team so that each employee can be the best that they can be. Recognise the efforts of your employees and commend them when they do well. But also, respond to your employees’ weaknesses and help develop those weaknesses into strengths (the wonders of change management!) When giving feedback, don’t beat around the bush. Be direct – but sensitive.
II. Empathy is key to success.
Power and authority can consume you and it’s easy to forget that there was a boss before you came along. Remember a previous employer that really ticked you off and how you vowed that you would never become like them? Make sure you maintain that!
It’s really helpful to put yourself in the shoes of your employees and remember your roots so that you don’t make the same mistakes as one of those horrible bosses of the past!
It’s also a good tip to show an interest in your employee’s lives (but don’t pry, nobody likes a Peeping Tom!) Not only will employees feel included and well regarded, you will have an idea of what your employees are going through which can help you understand thing from their point of view. Keep team morale high because happy employees make efficient workers.
III. The best leaders listen.
Mistakes happen. We wouldn’t be human if we were perfect at everything we do. Keep this in mind, don’t lose your cool – being red-faced in an angry huff won’t do your street credit any favours! Listening really helps with this: listen to your employees to try to find the root of a mistake or problem that’s occurred – then fix it! Nobody is trying to get one over their boss, seek and listen to feedback regularly, and be open to criticism.
IV. Don’t let problems pollute your workplace.
Problems are bound to occur. It’s a reality that you can help prevent, but not fully extinguish. A whole variety of small and large problems can occur at any time; from petty squabbles, system failures and the disappearance of the office pet. No matter the size, no matter the scale, problems are toxic – and can destroy team morale! Treat every problem immediately and don’t ignore the small ones. They’ll grow and become worse.
By tackling problems head on, you will gain respect from your employees. Without respect, no leader can ever succeed. Our tip on this goes hand-in-hand with our final point, be fair. Deal with the problems appropriately, but try not to put everyone in the dog house.
V. Ruling with an iron fist is bad form.
By being a fair and virtuous leader, your workplace realm will flourish and become prosperous – and with it, produce happy subjects (that’s your employees!). Without them, one can’t lead, and that works both ways. Set reasonable and realistic expectations that your team can achieve. Share the success with them and don’t take all the glory. And the biggie! – don’t treat your employees like peons, they’ll work hard if you respect them and they’ll put in the effort.
Ruling the roost isn’t easy but no job, small or large, is. As a boss, a lot of pressure falls on you to succeed – but don’t forget the employees that all help to make that happen. A good relationship with your peers will keep team morale high and create an efficient and productive workforce. These tips will hopefully help, or spotlight, the awesome work you’re already doing.
We would really like to hear from you about what you think makes a great boss (and not just in the contact centre industry). We’d also like to know what you think makes for a great employee – and who knows, your comments might just tally up in our upcoming infographic!
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