Look in the mirror and ask yourself: What kind of boss are you? Do you resemble Cruella De Vil from “101 Dalmatians” – a heartless, puppy-snatcher who orders her hapless henchmen to carry out her cruel demands? Or are you more like Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars” — a dedicated, knowledgeable, soft-spoken Jedi Master with a wry sense of humor?
What are the characteristics of a good boss? While there are far too many traits to mention, here are the top three traits necessary to motivate workers:
A kind boss is someone who solves problems and manages conflict
Studies show that full-time employees spend nearly three hours per week dealing with conflict. Poorly managed conflict can bring serious problems to the workplace, including personal insults and attacks, sickness or absence, and can even lead to someone leaving the company. Instead of avoiding conflict, a good manager uses it as a means to produce a better solution to a workplace problem. Numerous books discuss how to deal with conflict. One that specifically deals with five primary styles of handling conflict is “Introduction to Conflict Management: Improving Performance Using the TKI” by Kenneth Thomas.
A kind boss is someone who practices direct, open communications
In this jobless recovery, employees spend nearly three hours a day worrying about job security. A survey by Lynn Taylor Consulting found that management may be unwittingly fueling this fear by staying behind closed doors: 76 percent of employees said that a closed door triggers thoughts of being laid off. Employees want more communication — whether good news or bad — because it makes them feel like they matter.
A kind boss is someone who invests in employees
A soft economy is the perfect time for managers to think of ways other than money to motivate employees. In a recent survey by SkillSoft, eight out of 10 employees stated they would have higher job satisfaction if they received more on-the-job training. Helping employees acquire new skills and assume greater responsibility to advance professionally is one of the most effective ways managers can promote loyalty, improve performance and build future leaders.