What kind of boss are you?

on August 31, 2016

I recently heard this great, great-boss story:

A woman was about to start a new job when an unexpected medical emergency came up and she had to schedule significant surgery right before starting the new position. So she called up her boss-to-be and explained the situation. But rather than being upset, or calling the new job off, he arranged it so that she would start the job on disability leave and thereby get her salary to kick-in.

When her first check arrived two weeks later, it turned out that it was for her full salary and not the partial disability salary she expected. She called the boss to say that a mistake had been made, but he said no, that they decided to pay her normally. He wished her a speedy recovery and said that they hope to see her soon. Of course she is so grateful that she says they will have a loyal employee forever.

Isn’t that one of the main benefits of being a great boss – you get to create a happy and productive workplace? Yes, being a good boss sometimes costs more and requires greater patience, but the payoffs far outweigh any burdens:

  • You make more money. Studies show that happy employees create happy customers and happy customers create happy bank accounts
  • You instill loyalty and hard work. People like to work for people they like, and will work harder and better. They will also have a better attitude and be willing to go the extra mile
  • You can sleep at night: I can tell you that, having once had a boss threaten to put his cigarette out in my forehead because I didn’t hit my numbers that month, I don’t know how some of these people live with themselves. But the opposite is true too – good bosses set great examples.

And the thing is, it is not that difficult to be a good boss. It is really a matter of trying to do the right thing. How about the boss who offered an employee all of the available overtime work one month because he knew she was in a bad financial situation? It didn’t cost him anything but it sure did gain him a lot. Or the boss who made sure that the pregnant cashier was able to sit down while doing her job?

Little things go a long way in the workplace. Good bosses are fair, they trust their staff, they challenge you to do your best, they listen, and they are respectful.

And just maybe, they give folks that extra Friday off here and there during the summer.