By George Obst, SCORE, Mentor

If you are supervising employees, or, are contemplating adding employees to your staff, your success will be measured by how your employees feel about you.

Studies have shown that having a good boss is more important than other work factors including income earned. In fact, almost half who reported their bosses were poor were more likely to leave their current position.

The best bosses have the following common characteristics:

  1. Recognizing effort and not expecting perfection. Using mistakes and failures as learning opportunities versus a cause to belittle, and/or embarrass.
  2. Being positive rather than negative. Most managers are too stingy with praise. To improve relationships some experts recommend a 5-1 ratio of positive to negative comments. When offering critical feedback focus on the behavior versus making it personal and attacking the individual.
  3. Listening well. Many bosses interrupt, are impatient, and simply want quick action. Bosses who listen more are rated higher by their employees. Also, they can read the cues, both verbal and non-verbal for signs of defensiveness, anxiety, and fear and then act to allay these fears
  4. Remaining connected. Even during negative circumstances they don’t pull away, avoid, or get defensive. They act with empathy and understanding, and respond with sensitivity when employees have issues and they are “hurting”.
  5. Turning off that ego voice that quickly wants to judge and weigh in with “I disagree”, “I know what’s best”. How you are perceived by your people may be more important than being right.
  6. Seeking feedback. Periodically ask your employees how your interpersonal style is working. Ask what they want to see more of or less of from you.
  7. Providing support. Communicating clearly your expectations of the employee and asking how you can help the individual achieve the goals.
  8. Treating your employees how you would like to be treated. Sounds easy, but it requires you to be a thinking boss who weighs behavior before acting. It means not wearing your emotions on your sleeve.

Exit interviews with departing employees produce descriptions of bosses that include: micromanager, control freak, insensitive, demeaning, critical, and out of touch.

Most bosses don’t wake up in the morning with an intention to treat their employees poorly. The gap lies between intention and delivery. Many bosses have not been trained in the supervision skills required to build productive empowering relationships with their employees.

SCORE can help, by providing mentoring (at no cost to you) to become more effective at achieving your goals, whether they involve supervision or simply identifying and developing your business ideas. Call 602 745-7250 or click here to set up a mentoring appointment.

About the Author:

George Obst, Certified SCORE MentorGeorge Obst is a Certified SCORE Mentor with more than 30 years experience profitably managing and growing businesses, including start-up, buying, financing, and selling businesses.