Who's your best boss ever?

Here’s what makes a GREAT Boss

In Recognition and Engagementby Lori McKnight

It’s Bosses Day

According to a new online survey conducted for Robert Half, 2 in 5 of us have quit a job because of a boss-hole.

Not the nicest intro for a post to commemorative Bosses Day. Sorry.

Chances are you’ve had really great bosses and bosses you were happy to bid “bye-bye”. Thinking about your favorite bosses, what made them great to work for? Did they believe in you? Give you new opportunities? Make you feel part of something bigger than your job?

I’ve been really fortunate to have a couple outstanding mentors over my career and some bosses who thickened my skin. In my experience, the best managers recognize…

  • There’s no “I” in team – they value everyone’s contributions, regardless of level
  • They are role models – the only time success comes before work is in the dictionary
  • It’s OK to make mistakes – but not ok to blame others

If you look through Glassdoor ratings for companies that regularly make the Great Places to Work lists, you’ll notice three common themes:

1. Great leaders role model the values and behaviors they want to see in their people.

We’ve always had strong, organic employee engagement, but we can’t take our foot off the pedal. Role modeling is the most powerful tool – our leaders learn our culture, live it and teach it by example and storytelling.

– Ginny Too, VP of People + Culture at Kimpton Hotel, Top Five Ranking and Ten Years on Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work List

2. Great leaders feel a responsibility to give employees opportunities to develop their skills and grow.

  • “You’re always being stretched to learn and grown and try new things.”
  • “Supportive company culture that cares about your professional development and work/life balance.”
  • “I feel prepared to go do so many different things, and at the same time I’ve continually opted into the role and the path here.”

– Employees on Bain and Company’s leadership, #1 of Best Places to Work List 2019

3. Great leaders are approachable. They want employees to have a voice and welcome feedback.

“We select leaders who are strong in the area of engaging Associates in taking great care of our customers with great quality and service. They must also be able to create a team-oriented atmosphere, which is part of our mission statement”.

– Lynsi Snyder, In-N-Out Burger, #3 on Glassdoor’s 2019 Best Places to Work List

There’s a lot of talk these days about toxic workplaces and poor managers. Bad culture and unreasonable managers have been a problem since corporations emerged in the 1820s. What has changed is a realization by strong leaders that cultivating great places to work results in more productive employees, happier customers and better business results.

Great leaders aren’t born, they’re made from the many mistakes and experiences they’ve had over their careers. Like your best employees, great leaders are constantly striving to improve themselves, their people and the business.

In honor of BOSSES DAY, download these fun notes of recognition for a past or present manager who you trust, who believes in you and who pushes you to be the best you can be.

For the Boss-holes in your life, you might want to slide this poster under the door…

For more ideas and resources to remind others to appreciate and recognize, contact a CSI STARS recognition consultant today!

Author: Lori McKnight

Lori McKnightAs VP of Recognition for CSI STARS, everything I do is about promoting small acts of recognition inside and outside the workplace. Positive words, deeds and attitudes multiplied by many creates a culture where people want to work, where they refer their friends and put in their best efforts. It’s really that simple!My Creds: MBA, Certified Recognition Professional, Forbes Council Member and GO SHRM blog squad contributor. Prior to joining CSI STARS, I worked at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and was Account Director at Youthography, a youth market research consultancy.