Woman holding a Like A Boss mug by Brooke Lark for Boss's Day

Celebrating Boss’s Day with 10 things that make a great boss

What makes a superior boss? Oh sure, we may like the ones that give away sports tickets or treat the office to weekly pizza parties, but there are so many more important qualities that make a person the kind of leader you want to head up your place of employment.

So on Boss’s Day, we are rounding up 10 things that make a great boss. And they go a lot deeper than pizza.

1. A great boss is a teacher/mentor/coach

Depending on where you are in the hierarchy of your company, a great boss will be either more of a teacher, a mentor, or a coach to you. Sometimes, a combo of all three. They’ll encourage continual learning and growth and always push their employees to be the best versions of their professional self.

Though, they should never give you detention or make you do 20 pushups.

2. & 3. They are honest & trustworthy

The saying is “loose lips sink ships”, but they also can ruin a boss’s reputation for honesty and trustworthiness. A great boss stays away from office gossip as much as possible (and, by setting this example, can also help to squash gossip from running rampant), and speaks the truth to their employees. A boss to be admired is one that can be looked up to and trusted by their staff.

4. A great boss has the ability to accept feedback gracefully and to listen

Bosses are expected to “take charge” but sometimes they need to sit back and listen to their employees too. Feedback should not be met with anger or defensiveness (no one is perfect!), but instead with understanding and reflection, especially if a boss expects their employees to behave similarly.

5. They set clear expectations

There are few things as frustrating as completing a project or an assignment only to find out that the boss wasn’t clear about their expectations. A great boss has solid communication skills and sets clear expectations so nothing is left to the imagination.

6. They value their staff

A great boss makes every staff member feel important and valued in the company. How? From easy things like saying hello in the morning, to harder things like paying their employees a fair, living wage with benefits when possible. After all, a company cannot run without their staff. Take care of them.

7. They set a good example

It is not necessary for the boss to be “first one in, last one out” of the office, but employees should feel like their boss is working just as hard as they are.

8. They have an open door policy

Though a boss’s time is usually in high demand, a good one will always make time for their employees, either at regularly set times or on an “as needed” basis.

9. A great boss is someone who respects work/life balance

A great boss does not quip, “Oh working a half day?” as an employee packs up to go at 6:30 after working a 10 hour day. A great boss does not consider children to be a liability to a strong employee’s performance. A great boss encourages their employees to use their vacation time every year.

And, especially now during this pandemic, a great boss will know that flexibility is key for working parents or caregivers who are juggling more than ever before.

10. And, they make the job fun

Remember what we said at the beginning about pizza parties? That still isn’t the mark of a great boss, but it can be an indication of a boss that remembers to inject “fun” into the company culture.

This may be more difficult to do now as many employees are still working virtually and company gatherings are frowned upon for social-distancing reasons. Right now, “fun” may be a hard thing to imagine, but it’s still worth striving for even if it’s having a “Zoom background” contest during your next staff meeting or sending out Dunkin Donut gift cards on National Staffing Employee Week.


It’s worth noting how much we appreciate our own boss, Linda McDaid, here at South Shore Staffing! Though she came on board unexpectedly in 2013 after the passing of her brother, South Shore Staffing’s founder Ed McDaid, she has spent the past seven years guiding our team through great and challenging times, and we are so grateful for her leadership.