A great boss exhibits many different characteristics, and they are a person who creates and maintains a safe, inspiring work environment where talented, engaged employees thrive.
In work environments led by great bosses, I have found that employees perform better (40% or more!), serve customers better (40% or more!) and produce better results and profits (30% or more!)
Consequence management is the road to values-aligned, high performing teams. Great bosses encourage progress and accomplishment in both results AND valued behaviors. When necessary, they redirect or even reprimand.
A great boss knows that organizations expect them and their team to exceed goals and demonstrate the company values in every interaction with customers, clients, and each other.
One way a great boss inspires their team players to both values alignment and high performance is to combine joint accountability with individual accountability. This means that holding the team, as well as each individual, to a pre-established standard. However, a great boss knows this cannot be demanded. Instead, the key is creating an environment where both types of accountability are cultivated. Here are a few ways I have observed great bosses doing this.
They create clear agreements.
A clear agreement is an essential foundation excellent behavior. You must have an “organizational constitution” that informs your team what good citizenship in your company looks like. These bosses formalized expectations so every team member knew what an A+ would look like in their tasks, goals, and projects.
They monitor progress regularly. A great boss pays attention to the quality of interactions between team members, and employees with customers. They watch the traction toward performance goals as well. It is a “both/and.” They practice “Consequence Management 101,” positively reinforcing the desired progress and alignment while redirecting mis-alignment promptly.
They delegate responsibility and authority to talented, engaged team members. Great bosses recognize and cultivate leadership in those they lead. They notice team players who consistently perform well and demonstrate the values of the company. They are willing to delegate certain responsibilities to these team members while staying connected and informed.
They engage employees in process improvements daily. A great boss continually evaluates the systems and processes in the company. While many methods make sense in the beginning, as the company evolves, they often need to be tweaked or replaced. A great boss inspires refinements, often listening to his/her team members input about how their jobs could be made more efficient and productive. Moreover, they allow themselves to be held accountable for instituting the types of changes that will help their team members thrive.
How about you? Are you a great boss that practices accountability for yourself, and wisely applies it to your team dynamic and organization? If you do, you will find continued joy and improvement in your workplace.