Being a great boss isn’t about being ‘mates’ with your team or buying everyone pizza on a Friday afternoon. It’s about earning the respect and loyalty of your team and enabling them to achieve their goals. It’s about creating an environment that will help individuals to flourish and achieve things as a team that they wouldn’t be able to do individually.
There are lots of things that will help you to become a great boss (and lots of things that won’t). We have highlighted just a few points that we think are crucial if you want to become a great boss.
8 tips to help you become a great boss and build a winning team!
1. Invest in your team is the first step in becoming a great boss
Investing in your team can take lots of different forms and doesn’t necessarily refer to financial investment. A time investment into your team to better understand strengths, weaknesses, hopes, and ambitions is just as valuable.
Financial investment through professional training courses is also important. Developing the skills of your team members in this way will not only help individuals to progress in their chosen fields. It will also bring business benefits to your team, and the wider company as a result.
2. Give praise when praise is due
This is probably the simplest item on our ‘how to be a great boss’ list, but sadly it is often overlooked. If a member of your team has gone above and beyond make sure a project is delivered on time, delivered a great pitch to a prospective client, gone out of their way to help another member of the team, or offered some great ideas or suggestions during a meeting – LET THEM KNOW!
The simple act of acknowledging their efforts and letting them know that you appreciate and value their contributions will have a huge impact on motivation and morale. It will also impact how they perceive their worth within the team.
It can be as simple as sitting down with a cup of coffee and telling them they have done a great job. Alternatively, you could choose to make a more public acknowledgement of their efforts by praising them during a team meeting.
3. Embrace the mistakes
Nobody is perfect – even the likes of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk make mistakes. When the inevitable happens and a member of your team makes a mistake, it’s important to offer constructive criticism. The emphasis really does need to be on the word constructive for this one. Plain old criticism doesn’t help anyone – it just serves to demotivate and demoralise.
The crucial part is understanding what the actual mistakes were, identifying why those mistakes happened, and developing a solution that will help eliminate the same mistakes occurring in the future.
Although they can be frustrating and sometimes costly, mistakes offer a real learning opportunity for both individuals and the business. Embrace them and learn from them. Regardless of what you do, the mistake has already happened and can’t be undone. Don’t squander the opportunity to learn from them.
By approaching mistakes in an open and constructive way you and your team will be able to analyse the various elements and find a solution that will work better in the future.
4. Empower your people
A key step in becoming a great boss is to empower your team. People want to feel empowered and delegating effectively is a great way to achieve this.
When we say ‘delegate effectively’ we don’t mean you should hand out all the tasks you don’t want to do. Give your team the opportunity to shine. Let them show what they are capable of by delegating tasks that they can complete in their own way.
Remember, your team is made up of individuals – this is what makes a team so great. The chances of them completing a task in the same way as you or another of their colleagues would do it is very slim. But this doesn’t make it wrong.
Be sure to set your expectations from the beginning. Make sure that whoever you are delegating to understands the desired result & any other key deliverables. Let them know that you are available to support them, but other than this, let them take responsibility. Check-in with them regularly to check on progress, but don’t micromanage and dictate how you want the task to be completed – this isn’t empowering.
Tasks could be short or long term ones depending upon the workload and urgency. If you are not familiar with effective delegation maybe a smaller, short term task would be a good place to start.
By working in this way and empowering your team they will become much more invested in the projects and business as a whole.
5. Become a great boss by creating a winning team
A team that works well together will always have more impact and be more successful than a group of individuals. The world of sport demonstrates this on a daily basis. Although each individual will bring a different set of skills to the table, the key to success is to create a team that utilises all of those skills to reach a common goal.
Creating a winning team from a group of individuals takes time and requires some effort from all involved. The most important element to creating a winning team within your workplace is to make sure that everyone understands that they are working towards the same goal. In sport, this goal is typically to beat the opponents and win, whilst in business terms, this could be to any number of things. To develop a new product or deliver a complex project for example.
Even though each team member will naturally be responsible for a different element, they are still contributing to the overall team goal. Without all team members contributing and delivering their expertise, the team will struggle to meet the overall objective.
A great way to bring a group closer together as a team is with team building activities. Collaborative activities are particularly useful in demonstrating the importance of working towards a common goal.
6. Utilising the strengths of your team is key to becoming a great boss
As I mentioned above, each member of your team will bring a different set of skills to the team. As a great boss, it is important that you can identify these skills and maximise their use within the team. Not only will this benefit the team hugely, but it will also empower your people and make them feel valued.
It’s important that you take time to get to know your team and better understand where their strengths lie. Likewise, it’s important to know of any weaknesses team members may have.
This knowledge will enable you to make the most of what your team has to offer. It will also help you assign projects and tasks accordingly and highlight any gaps in your teams skillset that you may choose to fill either by recruitment or training.
7. A great boss leads by example
You can’t expect your team to do what you’re not willing to do yourself. Whether that is displaying a solid work ethic, behaving in a professional manner, treating colleagues with dignity and respect, or dealing with conflict appropriately, it’s important to lead by example.
By doing this, not only will your team have a role model on which to base themselves, but you are also letting them know what you expect of them. Setting a good example for your team to follow will help you to earn their respect and help you on your way to being a great boss!
8. Share the credit
You can’t do your job without the help of your team. Simple as that.
If you receive praise from your boss or you have delivered a presentation that was put together by a member of your team, make sure you share the credit. Don’t keep all the glory for yourself.
Not only will doing this help you to earn the respect of the colleagues around you. It will also let your team know that you value their input and contributions. If you share praise and credit with them, they are more likely to contribute in the future.