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10 Secrets to Being a Great Boss

There is a saying that people may not remember what you did or said, but they will remember how it made them feel. That is why there are so many horrendous stories of bad bosses all over the internet. If you treat your employees badly, a fat paycheck wouldn’t be enough to sweep away how you made them feel. In the same vein, if you treat your employees nicely, they would put in their best efforts to increase productivity. It can be hard to be a good boss when you are under pressure from superiors and constantly threatened by the success streaks of your competitors. However, it can be done. Successful managers have shared their secrets to being great bosses. We have compiled these secrets and shared them in this article, read till the end to uncover them all.

What do Employees Truly Want?

The three major things employees want from their employers to keep them happy are:

  • Support
  • Appreciation
  • Good Recommendation.

Employers that give all three are held in high regard, but even if a manager only gives one of the three, he would be hailed a good boss.

Let’s look at them individually.


Employees want to be shown that they are valued. Employers that support their staff to take courses, organize training, and sympathize with them when they are going through an issue, show that they are supportive of the employee’s growth and value their efforts in the company. Another great way to show support is to offer solutions whenever you point out errors, instead of berating the worker for making mistakes.


Appreciation is the most sought-after of them all. Elders say, “When you thank someone, they would do more for you”. This is especially true when it concerns someone that is working for you.

Employees put in their best efforts in hopes of getting their manager’s validation. When they do not receive it, however, it makes them feel small and insecure. But when you do give appreciation as an employer, it makes your staff strive to be more productive to impress you.

Appreciation doesn’t have to wait for the big accomplishments like bagging contract deals and executing daunting projects. Saying “thank you” after they have run an errand for you, or simply appreciating them for turning up to work on time, has a way of imprinting you on your employees’ minds for good. They would even remember you in their daily prayers.

Good Recommendation

You know how everyone loves overhearing others praise their efforts in their absence right? Well “everyone” includes your employees too. When you talk about your achievements in the past year at a company event, remember to give credit to your loyal employees who gave their best efforts to the project. If a client compliments a member of your staff to your hearing, follow up with an “Oh yes, Sarah is exceptional at her job, it’s like she embodies the role completely” kind of reply. When you constantly give good recommendations about your employees, it makes them do better, and they would jump at any opportunity to attest to your credibility. It makes you a great boss.

Now that you have gotten an insight into what employees want from you to keep them happy, here are 10 of the best-kept secrets that if you combine with the three above, will take you from a zero to ten on the scale of great bosses.

How to Be a Great Boss

To be a great boss, you should:

1. Communicate efficiently.

Over-communicate if necessary. Give clear instructions, and explain why things should be done that way. It helps the employees connect with the company’s vision, and give their best efforts to see it actualized. When you assign tasks and set goals for the team, go further to explain how these goals align with the big picture of what the company is trying to achieve.

2. Set Clear Expectations, not Give Unreasonable Demands

Provide each employee with a detailed explanation of what is expected of them daily, weekly, or monthly. Every task assigned to that particular employee should be within the responsibilities of his specified job position. If you ever need an employee to take on extra work or work overtime, give reasons, and request it politely.

3. Give Feedback on Work Done and Offer Tutorials when Needed.

Employees need constant feedback on how well they are doing at work. Feedbacks help them to know where to make improvements and adjustments. If you notice that an employee has issues meeting up with deadlines or delivering in accordance to set expectations, don’t stop at just pointing it out, offer helpful advice on how they can improve. When necessary, if an employee is delivering poorly because they do not have sufficient knowledge of the software in use, offer tutorials on how to use the software. You can also organize periodic training for this reason.

4. Show an Interest in Employees’ Lives

Employees like to be given an audience to talk about their hobbies and other topics of interest. From time to time, ask them questions about their personal lives; did they have a great weekend? Did they have an eventful vacation? Reach out with kind wishes on their birthdays and marriage anniversaries. Showing an interest in their personal lives will make them feel loved and love you right back.

5. Talk about your Personal Experiences

Share not only your success stories but your failures too with your employees. It helps employees connect with you as a human being and not just a workaholic. They may also be able to learn a thing or two from your life’s struggles.

6. Incorporate Fun Activities into Work Schedule

Whether it is jean Friday, or giveaway Mondays on every first Monday of the month, give your employees something fun to look forward to. It relieves the stress of the week and refreshes their minds. Playing games and fun stuff also serves as a good team-building exercise.

7. Promote Teamwork

Just like participating in fun activities together can foster unity and build trust, promoting teamwork also helps with team building. Appreciate employees for working as a team, and encourage them to learn from one another. This will reduce conflicts that may be caused by diversity.

8. Seek Opinions from Employees regarding Group Projects

No man is an island, and no single individual can claim to know it all. Request your employees’ perspectives on general office matters and group projects once in a while. This allows them to feel like contributors to the company’s growth. They might also come up with helpful tips and suggestions sometimes, you would be surprised at how helpful their tips may be. Also be open to corrections, when you make unconscious mistakes, be approachable enough for employees to bring it to your attention.

9. Reward Good Performance with more Benefits

It is often said that the reward for hard work is more work. However, be flexible enough to attach more benefits and incentives to the increase in workload. Employees like to be appreciated for a job well done, but rewards and awards of recognition would leave them better motivated than your “thank you” would have left them.

10. Give out Questionnaires for Monthly/Yearly Evaluation

Allow employees to anonymously review the company’s policies and work ethics monthly or yearly, and make adjustments as needed. These questionnaires can also be drafted to allow employees to render complaints about team members, including the employer. Improvements should be made where necessary, in preparation for the coming month or year. This would help ensure that the company is continually growing, and minimize conflicts and strife.


As an employer, you may never be friends with your employees (career experts even advise against that), but you should have a cordial relationship with your staff.

Don’t be a tyrant in the workplace or an oppressor. In the words of a wise man, “be a leader, not just a boss”. Uphold your integrity and don’t make promises you may not be able to keep.

Finally, remember the three vital things a great boss gives; support, appreciation, and good recommendations. You will never be able to fully satisfy your employees, they are humans after all and humans are insatiable, but do your best and leave the rest.

Remember, happy employees, make a productive company. I hope you found this insightful, good luck!

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