Boss’s Day, which started around this time in 1958, has been criticized for putting employees in the awkward position of having to celebrate the person who signs their paychecks or manages their workload. Instead of feeling celebratory, it can end up feeling obligatory.
So while we are proud of having such an awesome boss in South Shore Staffing’s Lisa Corrigan, we think it makes more sense to promote the qualities that make someone a superior boss. Because the best way to support our bosses is to see them as people who help us do our best work, who praise our successes, and who help us get through the hard times. And maybe buy lunch for the office a few times a year.
10 qualities of a great boss
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, they’ll be 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 selves.
2. They are honest & trustworthy
A great boss sets the tone for the rest of the office and helps set an example for how they expect their office or team to act. Gossiping about employees can quickly ruin a boss’s reputation for honesty and trustworthiness. A great boss stays away from office gossip as much as possible 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.
3. They accept feedback gracefully and without getting defensive
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, but with understanding and reflection, especially if a boss expects their employees to behave similarly.
4. 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.
5. 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 and treating everyone with respect, to more critical things like paying their employees a fair, living wage. After all, a company cannot run without its staff. Take care of your employees.
6. They set a good example
It is not necessary for the boss to be the “first one in, last one out” of the office, but employees should feel like their boss is working just as hard as they are.
7. 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.
8. 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 after working 10 hours. 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.
9. They promote diversity in the office
Whether they are directly involved in hiring for their company or have other staff to do this important role, a great boss knows that diversity and inclusion in the workplace makes a business stronger. Companies that blend–and promote!–people of different genders, ethnicities, ages, and abilities will benefit from these diverse world views and experiences.
10. They make the job fun
Remember what we said at the beginning about buying lunch for the office? 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. For us, it means taking time to celebrate the Olympics with the South Shore Staffing games, heading out for dinner as a team, and taking time at the end of status meetings to share funny stories or anecdotes about our work.
Though we aren’t celebrating Boss’s day in the same way it was intended back in 1958, we do want to note how much we appreciate our own boss, Lisa Corrigan, at South Shore Staffing. We are so grateful for her leadership, skill, relatability, and mentorship. And, of course, the snacks.