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How to Become a Better Boss


The business world is full of managers. We all know the bad ones — the bully, the tyrant, the "my way or the highway" type. Most of us have also experienced mediocre bosses, who are not awful but put their operation on cruise control with little employee guidance or encouragement.

Then there are the good bosses — the motivators, the mentors, the ones who lead their teams through critical projects and give credit where credit is due. Unfortunately, good bosses are rare.

According to a Gallup workplace poll, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. That number has held steady since Gallup began reporting work engagement in 2009. The reason? Ineffective management. Gallup estimates:

  • Managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement.
  • One in 10 people have a high aptitude to manage.
  • Organizations name the wrong person as manager 80% of the time.

Ineffective management leads to a lack of employee engagement, which leads to poor outcomes. "Gallup's latest employee engagement meta-analysis shows that business units in the top quartile are 17% more productive, experience 70% fewer safety incidents, experience 41% less absenteeism, have 10% better customer ratings and are 21% more profitable compared with business units in the bottom quartile."

So heads up, managers. Doing your job well pays dividends, for you personally and for your company.

What Makes a Good Boss?

Being a boss does not automatically make you a leader. According to a study by the staffing agency Robert Half as reported in Business News Daily, bad management is endemic in today's corporate world — 49% of the professionals surveyed have quit a job because of a bad boss.

The difference between a good boss and a bad boss, Business News Daily notes, is leadership. The publication cites several qualities of a good manager:

  • Encourages team members to determine for themselves how best to achieve results by listening to their own ideas and sharing the reasoning behind the actions they take.
  • Guides team members through their tasks and motivates them by letting them know the importance of their work and their place in the company.
  • Understands that encouragement and mentorship are much more effective than reward and punishment.
  • Views team members as equal contributors instead of subordinates. Open communication is key to developing positive relationships with employees.

Improve Your Management Skills

Be passionate about your job — it will rub off on your team. Keep the lines of communication open to ensure the team is comfortable making contributions. Stay optimistic. Offer rewards and recognition to those who deserve it.

These are people skills you should constantly refine. But there's one big question you should ask yourself: Would your management aspirations benefit from an advanced degree?

The MBA Answer

The Corporate Recruiters Survey Report 2017, a product of the Graduate Management Admission Council, says four of the top five skills employers seek in new MBA hires revolve around communication skills — oral communications, written communications, the ability to listen, and presentation skills. Teamwork skills — adaptability, willingness to follow a leader, ability to value the opinion of others, being sensitive to cross-cultural influences — are also highly sought after.

These soft skills can be developed as part of an advanced degree program such as the Barry University Master of Business Administration in Management Online. Designed to transition business professionals into upper management, students learn communication and teamwork through practical utilization of the tools needed to address global business challenges.

This AACSB-accredited program can be completed in as few as 12 months.

Learn more about Barry University's online MBA in Management program.


Sources:

Gallup: Strengths-Based Employee Development: The Business Results

Business News Daily: Are You a True Leader of Just a Boss?

The Princeton Review: Why Get an MBA? Practical, Applicable Skills

Graduate Management Admission Council: Corporate Recruiters Survey Report 2017


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