I have a friend who refers to his superior as “Mr. Boss Man.” I don’t think that he means that in a bad way; however, after working in the HR field, I’ve grown to dislike the word “boss.” If you search the meaning of the word, you’ll find two definitions, a noun and a verb:
A leader leads. Does a boss boss? I sure hope not. In all capacities, managers should lead, not boss or bully their employees.
Employee vs. Manager
Having held both the role of employee and manager, I can relate to both positions and understand the needs and expectations of each.
An employee is hired to do a job. In this economy, he most likely had to jump hurdles just to get an interview. Once hired, he should be adequately trained to take over his role with confidence and success.
A good employee understands that he must do his job correctly and within the expected timeframe. He can use his talents not only to finish a project on time and within its required parameters, he may also surprise his superiors – and the client – with his ingenuity and creativity.
A good employee needs Mr. Boss Man to provide the necessary details of each project, so that he is clear on what is expected of him. His manager can’t change his mind two days before the deadline or provide vague guidelines and then grow angry with the employee’s performance.
A manager should work closely with the human resources department to ensure that the candidate that’s hired has the skills and knowledge to fill the role. Once the right individual is hired, the manager should ensure that he receives the right tools and information to complete the projects set before him.
A manager should provide guidance and answer questions. A manager should listen to insights and suggestions, because good employees often see improvements that can be made in their own position that can be beneficial for the department and the organization as a whole.
Characteristics of a Bad Boss
- Micro-manager: Tries to control every aspect of a project without allowing employees the freedom to get the same – or better – results while doing things their own way
- Indecisive: Is unable to make quick decisions and often changes expectations in the middle of a project or right before deadline
- Arrogant: Thinks that his way is the best or only way to do things, continuously brags about accomplishments
- Bully: Uses fear to get things done, flashes anger, makes inappropriate or condescending comments in front of other employees
- Favoritism: Plays favorites among staff and treats those he doesn’t like unfairly
- Negative: Does not offer up compliments or motivation for work well done, but points out or exaggerates even minor errors
Characteristics of a Good Manager
- Leader: Is available for questions or assistance, but does not “hover” over employees
- Equal: Acts as if he is equal to employees, taking part in both successes and failures
- Open: Leaves his door open and is responsive and approachable
- Motivation: Inspires and motivates employees with honest praise and sincere criticism
- Creative: Offers “out of the box” solutions and is open to unique ideas from staff members
- Positive: Keeps an upbeat attitude and a playful spirit to encourage good employees to give their best
Mr. Boss Man
If you are Mr. Boss Man, you have the opportunity to choose and keep the best employees, simply by encouraging them to use their talents and skills to the best of their abilities.
Being a good manager is very similar to being a good person. Be respectful of others both in and out of the workplace and support your staff. Good leaders often discover that their employees are committed to the success of the organization and take ownership of their role within it.