My kids are begging me to take them to see the new movie “Boss Baby,” an animated film about a baby (who is actually a savvy business leader) who leads other babies in an uprising against puppies, who are encroaching on the babies’ long-held monopoly on love and attention. The movie exemplifies, in a fun and light-hearted way, the type of boss-employee relationship that inspires loyalty and productivity.
In our own lives, here are three qualities of a great boss we should all embody to motivate our employees to succeed.
A great boss understands what employees want
New generations of employees want different things from their employers. Sure, most employees still want job satisfaction, personal growth, and the ability to care for themselves and their families, but more and more employees also expect their jobs to afford them the opportunity for self-expression and self-fulfillment. In fact, according to one study, 72% of employees ranked “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels” to be the most important factor in job satisfaction. As a result, motivating employees to succeed begins with understanding what employees want.
A great boss is fair and consistent
To be a great boss, managers must be fair and consistent, especially when it comes to disciplining employees. Consistent application of rules and policies is paramount. Failure to apply rules consistently harms employee morale, shows favoritism, and may constitute evidence of discrimination. To ensure fairness in the disciplinary process, managers should use progressive discipline when possible and implement performance improvement plans as a method of helping employees succeed. An employee’s deficient or lackluster job performance throughout the year should not be communicated for the first time during the employee’s annual review. In addition, rather than just focusing on the negative aspects of an employee’s performance during review time, managers should use performance evaluations as an opportunity to set goals and expectations for their employees’ future success.
A great boss manages in person
Great bosses share an “open door” policy with their employees and manage their staff in person. In today’s day and age, it’s easy to rely too heavily on technology when communicating with employees. To manage effectively, however, managers should make an effort to communicate in person (face-to-face) with their employees whenever possible, especially when the communication involves constructive criticism, discipline, or workplace conflicts. Though efficient and convenient, e-mails and text messages lack the professionalism and empathy conveyed during in-person interactions, and they can easily be misconstrued. Employees are less likely to be angry or misinterpret their managers’ comments if they are conveyed in person.
Being an effective leader who motivates employees to succeed is an attainable goal we should all strive to achieve. By adopting these three qualities, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great boss, baby!