In an recent article in Scientific American, Sunny Sea Gold writes about the qualities that make a good boss. So what are the keys to being a good boss? According to her, there are three standout features that combined, make a good boss. “1) humility, 2) confidence and 3) using the right carrots.” The most damaging qualities for a boss include arrogance, disrespect, blowing off feedback and blaming others. Since we know workers don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses and managers, it may be time to reflect on how to manage yourself in a difficult situation. Stress, morale, medical costs, turnover, lost productivity, anxiety, depression and absenteeism are just a few of the causalities workers experience due to bad managers. Ultimately, productivity suffers and the workers lose all sense of value. The remedy is multifaceted. Using a positive, supportive, engaging and validating style motivates employees. Employees need to feel a sense of control, challenge and growth to get engaged. Recently I found an interesting article on the concept of a “stay interview.” As opposed to an “exit interview” when it is too late to save or retain a valued employee. There are several questions a manager can ask an employee to get to know them better, understand their professional or career goals, aspirations, develop a sense of meaning and purpose to promote job satisfaction. This process just may help you keep valued employees. Like a doctor taking your pulse or blood pressure, being a good manager, leader and communicator will help you keep pulse on what is going on in employee minds, increase engagement and be motivating. Some questions you might consider asking include:
- If you could change one thing about your job, company or team, what would it be?
- What have you felt good about accomplishing in your job/career here?
- What talents, interests and skills do you have that we haven’t made the most of?
- What kind of flexibility would be helpful in balancing your work and home life?
- What opportunities for self-improvement would you like to have that go beyond your current role?
- What kind of feedback would you like about your performance that you are currently not getting?
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Scientific American Article