Most employers want to be good bosses, but sometimes it can be hard to tell if you’re heading in the right direction. Perhaps try asking yourself this list of questions produced as a kind of self test for bosses by the US-based National Federation of Independent Business:
- Have you ever publicly criticised an employee?
- Do you take credit for your employees’ work?
- Do your employees fear you?
- Do you expect employees to do what you tell them without question?
- Do you believe employees should know what to do without you telling them or providing guidelines?
- Are you a yeller?
- Do you demean employees as a form of punishment?
- Do you play favourites?
- Do you hate delegating?
- Do you check everyone’s work?
The New York Times has also put together a collection of some of the qualities the best bosses have, as deduced by experts in the subject.
Good bosses: Inspire confidence, are humble, have integrity, know what they were talking about, let workers get on with things, are always there when workers need help and usually say “Yes, try it.”
Bad bosses: Don’t give employees a clear and compelling company direction; say important things only once and leave workers scrambling to catch up; don’t hold employees accountable; and concentrate on trying to improve employees’ shortcomings instead of figuring out what employees are really good at and training them to be brilliant.