According to one survey carried out by Accenture, 31% of workers leave because they do not like their boss. In the Gulf states, that number rises to 44%. That is almost half! Looks like an uphill task. Read on to discover what highly likable bosses do differently.
1. They cut meetings to a minimum. Workers hate meetings and resent the amount of time spent on them. Intelligent managers know this and are aware that a whopping 37% of employee time is spent on meetings. They prune meetings to a bare minimum and ensure that there is a time limit on them. Bosses chair the meetings to make sure this happens and adhere strictly to the agenda.
2. They are accessible. Some bosses build a cordon round themselves. They have minions who slavishly keep people out. The message is that the bosses are busy and staff naturally feel that they cannot easily approach them with a problem. It is a well established fact that employees work much better for a boss they like and respect.
Popular bosses welcome suggestions from staff and always have an open door policy, which they actually put into practice. They understand that the key to any successful business is a happy, motivated staff who are consulted and appreciated.
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him. But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.” —Lao-Tzu
3. They are 100% reliable. Reliability is a two-way process. It permeates a successful company. But the highly likable bosses know that they have to deliver on the following:
- decisions are followed through
- tasks are completed on time
- they are prepared and on the ball
- they are punctual
- they lead their teams with a mix of persuasion and firmness
4. They delegate successfully. The key to successful delegation is that bosses know what to let go, so that they can concentrate on top priorities. They also know that they can delegate the task to employees and show them that this is developing their skills and training. Employees see a delegated task as an opportunity for empowerment and a great chance to acquire new skills. They also realize how their work fits into the bigger picture. Highly likeable bosses can do this very skilfully.
“Delegating work works, provided the one delegating works, too.” —Robert Half
5. They are flexible. Interesting research shows that where employees have flexible bosses, they suffer fewer health problems. It has a positive effect in less absenteeism too.
Employees need more flexibility when it comes to caring for sick children or parents. They should also be given the possibility of choosing their work schedule if it does not interfere with offering customer service or productivity.
6. They are optimistic and positive. Successful managers exude confidence and optimism. They may do that instinctively but there are sound reasons for doing so. They know that optimism is infectious and can motivate employees to be more enthusiastic and focused. Keeping these thoughts to the forefront can produce better results and happier staff.
The research by Dr. Martin Seligman is very interesting in this regard. He says that everybody must make a real effort to look at the positive aspects and opportunities rather than moaning about all the obstacles. The managers who can inspire their staff to do just that will become successful and highly likable.
“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” —Zig Ziglar
7. They are friendly. Highly likable bosses take an interest in their staff. They are great at remembering important events in people’s lives and can celebrate with them.
They also know that negative forces such as dislike, resentment and bitterness can lead to poor performance and can be extremely contagious. This is why these wise bosses do everything they can to be friendly and create goodwill without giving up on objectives and deadlines.
“The boss depends on authority, the leader depends on goodwill.” —Anon
8. They are compassionate. Many bosses try to be tough and want to show that they are still in control. If a person is always late, they will sack them on the spot.
But popular and compassionate bosses take a much more intelligent and humane approach. They first explain that [tardiness] is having a knock on negative effect on productivity, staff morale and relationships. They then ask the employee to implement changes and give them a deadline to improve. This creates less resentment and is a much better way of dealing with a difficult issue.
9. They show appreciation and thanks. When work is done well, intelligent bosses know that a short congratulatory email is the right way to express their appreciation. This encourages employees to do even better. It can also be used in their assessment and is a powerful motivational tool.
Showing gratitude pays handsome dividends. One survey by Glassdoor showed that 80% want to work harder when they are thanked for their achievements. That figure fell to 40% when the bosses were unpopular, demanding, and ungrateful.
10. They are charismatic. It is difficult to define what charisma is, yet we know it when we see it. Highly likable bosses are charismatic. They are self-confident, open and friendly. You can feel their presence in a room immediately. Their body language is as confident as they are. They have a real gift in listening to you and making you feel important. They are empathetic to a very high degree.
Now, if you are a highly likable boss and meet all the above criteria, congratulations! If not, at least you now know what you need to work on