In some industries, like film and music, ending up on the "hit list" is a good thing. Fame and fortune are bound to follow. Unfortunately, winding up on the "hit list" as a manager is an entirely different story.
In the newly released movie, "Horrible Bosses" three friends devise a plan to rid themselves of their bosses. This idea seems to resonate with many, as the film has had a strong opening at the box office. Here's why.
Bad bosses are all around, which means there is a shortage of role models for those interested in becoming a boss that others admire. Don't despair. There are ways to make it into the Good Boss Hall of Fame on your own. Follow these steps and you'll be well on your way.
Get a life
Bosses who have nothing better to do than work assume that everyone around them is in the same position. If you take the time to get to know your people, you will see that most have a life (or at least they are trying to have a life) outside of work. Good bosses assign work with realistic deadlines. They then get out of the way and allow employees to manage their time.
Hold people accountable
Despite what you may think, the best bosses aren't the ones who let people get away with murder. They are the ones who hold everyone to the same standard. Good bosses provide ongoing positive feedback. They also provide immediate guidance when workers appear to be going off track.
Bad bosses get their reputation for being psycho because of erratic behavior. One day they are the kind to those around them and the next day their evil twin takes over. Employees who work for inconsistent bosses, waste time and energy coming up with contingency plans in case the evil twin wins out that day. A good boss is even tempered. His people have a pretty good idea of which personality will be showing up on any given day.
Establish a harassment free environment
It should be a no brainer that the boss doesn't hit on an employee, but sadly this is not a lesson that everyone has learned. Sexual harassment isn't about sex. It's about power. Leaders who inspire others to follow are more powerful than those who manage through fear. Set the example. Now matter how tempted you might be, don't mix business with pleasure.
Control your anger
Being a boss in these tumultuous economic times is stressful. But that doesn't give you the right to run around the office screaming at everyone. Learn to manage your stress. You can do this on your own or if need be, seek professional help. Good bosses are known to keep their cool, especially when the heat rises in the organization.
Good bosses are generous with their time and do their best to reward those who have proven they are worthy of more. Budgets may be tight, but that doesn't mean you can't find non-monetary ways to show your gratitude. You can do this by accommodating scheduling requests, allowing valued employees to home office several days a week or by acknowledging employees in front of valued customers for a job well done.
Good bosses recognize that even their best employees may go through troubling times, which will impact their work. Look for signs that may indicate that something may have changed for your employee. Perhaps your most reliable employee is now showing up late for work. Or your happy-go-lucky employee no longer smiles. Acknowledge this shift and share resources, like the phone number to your Employee Assistance Plan, to demonstrate that you are genuinely concerned about their well-being.
No one ever said playing the lead role of boss would ever be easy. But with practice, and some coaching along the way, it won't be long before you are thanking the academy for your nomination into the Good Boss Hall of Fame.
© 2011 Human Resource Solutions. All rights reserved.
Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions (www.yourhrexperts.com) and author of the highly acclaimed book Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around, Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta's monthly newsletter, HR Matters.