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Related article: Tips for Motivating Your Employees

If you are a manager, you know being a good boss is vital to not only the business but also your career success. When you establish good relationships with your employees you create a stronger organization. From motivating staff to your management style, being a good boss should be a skill you continually refine.

Listen to your employees. Employees need clear direction and value being heard. Apart from planned weekly or monthly staff meetings, schedule one-on-one time with workers. By listening to constructive comments from employees, you can continually refine processes and your management issues. Also take this time to inform employees about what things are going well and those that require improvement. Everyone likes to know when they are doing a good job. Make your employees feel that they are valued contributors.

Work with your employees to create long-term goals. Employees who have long-term job goals are more committed to the organization. Get to know each person’s individual career goal and, when appropriate, find ways to create long-term plans for each. For instance, if you have an entry-level employee, you can map out all the levels of the organization and skills they need to acquire to advance into a higher position. On-the-job satisfaction is created when people are productive. If they feel that they are doing a good job and have room for advancement, they will be at their happiest.

Don’t criticize employees in front of their peers. While constructive criticism is useful, publicly highlighting an issue or an individual employee’s shortcomings can engender resentment, not only from them but your staff. Critical comments should be relegated to private meetings only. Do not have these discussions in public.

Be friendly, but don’t try to be best friends. There is a balance that a boss needs to make between being friendly and authoritative. In every aspect of life, being nice goes a long way. Maintain a positive attitude. Be personable with staff. Show enthusiasm. Being nice does not mean you should always say “yes,” however. Know when and how to say “no.” If you are refusing a request, explain the reasons. Take the time to let employees know that they are being heard and make the necessary decisions in a fair and balanced manner. Be honest. Staff will take notice.

Email is great, but it is always best to keep all lines of communication open. While email is an efficient tool in managing day-to-day activities, it should not be your only one. Face-to-face meetings still remain the best way to communicate, especially when difficult situations arise. This allows staff to ask questions, understand broader aspects of projects or organizational changes, as well as avoids any misunderstandings that can be assumed when only managing via email.

Be consistent with your management style. When employees know what to expect from their boss, they can be more productive. When you show consistent behavior, your employees will better understand the expectations of the job and your management style.

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