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Bosses are often one of the main factors that determine whether people love or hate their jobs. In addition to a happier workforce, being a good boss has been shown to lead to increased productivity and enhanced performance among employees. But what exactly makes a good boss? Here’s a list of 10 things that the best bosses have in common. Check it out, and up your management game today.

1. They listen to their employees

Many people have had managers who love to talk. Rarer — and infinitely more appreciated — are those bosses who are willing and know how to listen to their employees. The best managers are often great listeners. This helps them to better understand their teams, and show appropriate empathy. Good listening skills not only shows your employees that you’re seriously considering their opinions and needs but it also correspondingly builds trust between managers and employees.

2. They have a clear vision for the company and the team

The best bosses know exactly where the team is right now, where they are headed, and what they need to do to get there. Through good communication, they help keep the team on track. They also make sure each team member understands their individual role in executing that strategy. They ensure that the team is aware of the bigger picture and fully understands the why behind what they’re doing.

3. They celebrate the small wins

Just as important as having an eye on the big picture is showing appreciation for the tiny victories along the way. Great managers often pause to toast a win, give a shoutout at a staff meeting, or commiserate after a grueling week. They realise that celebrating the small wins can have a lasting effect on employee morale. They know how a simple thank-you from the boss on a hard day can go a long way.

4. They are focused on building a team

A good hire goes beyond a resume of accomplishments – and the best bosses know that. Whenever they hire someone, they focus on the interpersonal part of putting a team together and think about how this new person will add to the whole. Research has shown that there is a strong positive correlation between a company’s team culture and performance. Great managers recognize that their current employees are going to have to work with the new hire every single day. They look for someone who will complement the team holistically, rather than just fill in a certain skills gap.

remote employment opportunities

5. They always share the credit

One of the most demotivating things a boss can do is take all the credit without acknowledging the contributions of her team. A good boss always remembers to acknowledge and recognize the input of her employees. It’s very encouraging when a boss publicly points out the good work and individual contributions of employees that have made a project a success. Not to mention, when good behavior and performance is praised, acknowledged, and recognized, it is likely to be repeated.

6. They are understanding and flexible

The best bosses understand that their employees have a life beyond work. They never forget that their people have families, friends, hobbies, and other interests and obligations. They also realize that every employee’s circumstance is unique, and that they should never assume that they understand what their employees are experiencing. Managers like these give their people flexibility and freedom: freedom to explore their ideas, to take (smart) risks, and to make mistakes. They also provide the tools their employees need, allow for flexible schedules and working environments, and often provide remote employment opportunities.

7. They respect their employees’ time

Great bosses don’t give their people the impression that their time is more valuable. They don’t keep employees waiting for scheduled meetings. Instead, they show up prepared and get to the point. They also give their people flexibility, whether it be through offering remote employment opportunities or allowing employees with obligations, such as childcare, to work odd hours.

8. They are strong decision makers

Great managers aren’t impulsive, but they are decisive. After getting to know the facts and considering the thoughts and perspectives of their teams, they move things forward – even if that requires making a decision not everyone will approve of. Then, they commit to those decisions.

9. They take responsibility

Great managers understand that they’re the ones in charge, meaning they’re responsible for the team’s performance. To this end, they keep tabs on their employees to see what they can do to help them become better workers and develop professionally. The best bosses hold themselves accountable and are not afraid to openly acknowledge their mistakes and failures. 

10. They give their employees feedback

Great bosses are clear with employees about what they did well and how they can imporve in the future. Employees shouldn’t have to wonder how they’re doing or wait until a formal performance assessment to find out. The best managers know that and provide their employees with regular feedback throughout the year. In addition, these managers know that feedback should be specific – not a mere “great job” or “you need to step up your game.” Thus, they provide their people with thoughtful, nuanced input that employees can easily follow or act upon.