We’ve all heard the adage, “People don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad bosses.” It makes great fodder for after-work gripe sessions, but is it true?
Dr. Travis Bradberry, award-winning co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, says it definitely is. In one study, he says, 61% of those working for bad bosses said they were looking for another job, while just 27% of those working for good bosses were considering alternate employment.
Even more startlingly, 65% of people with bad bosses said they’ve sometimes misrepresented the truth at work, compared to only 19% of those with good bosses. Just as great bosses bring out the best in us, bad bosses bring out the worst.
Great bosses change us for the better. They see more in us than we see in ourselves, and they help us learn to see it too. They dream big and show us all the great things we can accomplish.
1. A great boss shares information. Have you ever worked for an information hoarder? Some bosses seem to think that every piece of information they share reduces their power and authority. In fact, just the opposite is true: great bosses know that sharing information empowers their employees, instead of diluting their own power.
2. A great boss puts a lot of thought into hiring. Bad bosses think nothing of hiring a jerk with great credentials because they’re only interested in how that person will perform. Great bosses think of the entire team. They look for someone who will complement the team holistically, rather than just fill in a certain skills gap.
3. A great boss looks for and celebrates wins. Great bosses don’t have a “Why should I praise you for doing your job?” attitude. They look for reasons to praise their employees, both privately and publicly, and they take the time to celebrate milestones. They understand that getting a pay check doesn’t cancel out that inherent need to feel valued and appreciated.
4. A great boss respects your time. Great bosses don’t give you the impression that their time is more valuable than yours. They don’t keep you waiting for scheduled meetings. They show up prepared and get to the point. And they don’t goof off on your time. It’s not that they’re unwilling to have fun at work, but they don’t do it at your expense, causing you extra stress or making it necessary for you to stay late to catch up.
5. A great boss is empathetic. Bad bosses only see their employees from the perspective of how the employees reflect on them. Great bosses, on the other hand, see their employees as more than just extensions of themselves. They’re able to get inside their employees’ skins and understand things from their perspective. They recognize their employees are human and that they treat them as such.