great bosses

great bossesIt’s no secret that bad bosses can be one of the reasons that employees quit their jobs. On the flip side, though, a great boss can be the reason that employees decide to stay at a company instead of searching for employment elsewhere.

This means that having great bosses in your company is important. But how can you tell who is a good boss and who is not? While there is no exact formula, there are certain practices that great bosses do on a constant basis, which make them both loved by employees and a true asset to the company.

Here are some practices of really great bosses:

  1. They show appreciation. Great bosses build employees up, not tear them down. They know how to praise employees for a job well done, including saying “thank you,” offering small perks such as breakfast on the house, and bigger perks such as performance-based bonuses. Great bosses know that the key to boosting the morale of their employees is to show them appreciation.
  2. They know how to give constructive criticism. Great bosses aren’t all about making employees feel good – if an employee is not doing something properly, a good boss will tell him – but in the right way. They won’t bash the employee personally or denigrate the work he does; instead, they will give constructive ideas for how to improve, couched in between appreciation and encouragement.
  3. They know when to let employees go. While great bosses know how to give constructive criticism, they also know which employees are worth giving it to. If they identify an employee who consistently does poor work, has a bad attitude or who is not a team player, they can make the decision that it’s time to let this person go. Wasting time on employees who are not productive and who bring others down is not something good bosses are willing to do.
  4. They recognize and develop employee talent. Talented employees don’t tend to stay in a company where there is no room for growth and no one to help them develop their skills. A great boss will recognize the talents of employees and invest time and effort in developing them. This benefits both the employee and the company in the long run.
  5. They don’t micromanage. Micromanaging is the opposite of helping an employee hone his skills; it takes away any chance for creativity, growth, and meeting challenges. Good bosses keep an eye on the work being done without encroaching on the space of their employees.
  6. They love what they do. Employees learn by example. If they see that their boss hates his job, why on earth would they love their jobs? But, if employees see a boss who loves his job, that can be contagious – it can motivate and inspire them to give their all, just like their passionate boss.
  7. They are approachable. Yes, leaders and managers tend be busy, but good bosses make it known that employees can approach them with work issues that arise. While an open-door policy might not suit the style or needs of every boss, allowing employees to schedule one-on-one meetings or scheduling monthly staff meetings are a good way of keeping the lines of communication open.
  8. They create harmony between the company and employees. Sometimes, it seems like the needs of the company are at odds with the needs of employees. For example, offering an inclusive benefits package will be good for employees, but it can be expensive for the company. A great boss will find a way to make just the right compromise – and he will also find a way to minimize the conflict between the two. In a successful business, what’s best for the company should not be at odds with what’s best for employees. The two should find some sort of balance, even if tenuous. And this is exactly what a great boss will do.


If it seems like being a great boss is difficult, that is an understatement. Being a great boss is incredibly hard. In fact, some companies consider it an accomplishment to have bosses who simply aren’t bad; striving for greatness doesn’t even seem attainable.

And yet, just like most worthwhile things in life, great bosses are something that are worthwhile searching for, cultivating, and hiring, because the rewards are more than worth the effort.