Most of us have experienced a bad boss in our working life. It’s certainly not much fun and can have an enormous impact on our engagement, productivity and overall happiness. On the opposite end of the scale, those of us who have had the positive experience of working for a great boss, know how transformational that relationship can be.

So, what makes the difference between a terrible boss and an amazing one, you ask?

Leadership behaviour

According to a recent Gallup report, great managers possess a rare combination of
five talents. They:

  1. Motivate their employees;
  2. Assert themselves to overcome obstacles;
  3. Create a culture of accountability;
  4. Build trusting relationships; and
  5. Make informed, unbiased decisions for the good of their team and company.

Employees who believe their company cares for them will always perform better. When employees feel supported by their boss, their happiness on the job increases and so does company success.

Constructing a healthy relationship involves effort from both and the result not only improves company success, but also the quality of feedback, policies and perhaps most important of all – the culture.

Some professionals are more emotionally supportive than others. Some might appear cold, however in reality they might have an analytical leadership style and prefer to use hard data and facts. If you’re more focused on personal relationships, that’s your strength, but you should also learn and respect other communication styles.

The same Gallup report also reveals that only 21% of employees meet weekly with their boss and 17% receive meaningful feedback. The most positive engagement booster was in bosses who focused on employee strengths.

Conquering negative engagement

In the case of dissatisfaction at work, the report tells us that happiness is down while disengagement climbs. The impact of the “boss” has never been greater with bosses now carrying the responsibility for 70% of employee engagement. In addition, engaged bosses are 59% more likely to have and retain engaged employees. Viewing the statistics through an optimistic lens, the boss has the potential to dramatically affect people’s engagement, productivity, tenure and happiness.

In the end, one out of every two employees will leave a job to get away from their boss when unsupported. Bosses shouldn’t be the reason that employees leave. They should be the reason they stay and thrive in the workplace, pushing it toward greater success.

Whether you’re a practice owner with the responsibility of leading your staff or you’re a new employee starting out in your chosen speciality, investing in your professional relationships and seeking to adapt your “style” to your boss or employees will garner great results for you.

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