So many times I ask myself why some people complain excessively about their jobs. The grass is greener on the other side they say, and they eventually leave for another job. There is a better pay, it’s a bigger organization, they have an office to themselves and a lot of space too, but barely after three months the complaints resume. The cycle goes on and on if they are fortunate enough. Something is definitely amiss. I have always made it my duty to analyze situations and try to provide solutions like I mentioned in this post. I have had times where I complained about previous jobs and to some extent, I humbly believe that the reason is as a result of poor leadership or management.

I am in a facebook group where members bring up issues they may be going through at work. On one occasion, a member complained bitterly about how her manager handled situations. In the midst of several comments, another member reiterated the point that people quit managers/ bosses not necessarily the company.

Most employees love their company and its processes. They like the daily challenge they have to look forward to. It gives them a purpose. Let’s not forget that out of their free will they applied to work with your organization. If they begin to have any reason to fear the unknown or feel that they are being undermined, that is where the problem begins. That is when the silent complaints and constant nagging starts to develop. You, as an employer, or a manager will barely have this information at hand. Often times, it’s in secret and if they have a good relationship with other employees the complaints could grow gradually among them and may eventually lead to challenges resulting in low engagement and poor performances.

Today, I decided to write an article on what great managers do because we still have some out there. The ones that employees want to stay with even when the organization may be going through tough times. The ones that have a relationship with employees of various levels.


1. Great managers/ bosses capitalize on each employee’s strengths

No two people can be the same. Individuals have weaknesses and strengths. Little wonder some interviewers ask what weakness a candidate may have. As a manager or boss, if you have given the required training and coaching but haven’t seen results, then it’s time to work with the strengths of the employee.If you were involved in the hiring, (if you had to work in hand with human resources) then  it means that you found the employee to be a good fit at the time.

While capitalizing on an employee’s strength, offer incentives to attract and motivate the employee. For example, give one of your subordinates the opportunity to work on a project alone no matter how small. Show him/ her that he/she is valued and appreciated.

2. Great managers/ bosses show good leadership

It’s okay to not be a good leader initially, after all, most promotions are based on performance, but you can develop leadership skills and effectively manage lower employees. As a manager, you are a representative of the company. It will be good to believe in your company’s policies, if not, employees will lose focus.

3. Great managers/ bosses hold meaningful meetings

Great managers ensure that a meeting is relevant before arranging one. No one wants a long unproductive meeting. Employees want to use their time wisely. They have workload and need to know that any meeting held will be useful. Schedule one-to-ones with direct reports when necessary. This will be helpful in a case where you notice a decline in productivity of a particular employee.

4. Great managers/ bosses find a partner that complements a talent

Where you discover that an employee has weak points in an area, you may want to consider pairing him/her with someone that complements him/her. With time, channel your creativity into scheduling better work arrangements for your direct reports. Some people work better with a little bit of coaching and partnership over time. It is your duty to identify such circumstances and needs.

5. Great managers/ bosses give credit when due

Where an employee deserves credit, give it to him/her. This is not a competition. Teamwork works best at all times. Taking the praise in totality for work done by the team will lead to disloyalty and negativity in the workplace. Everyone wants to feel valued, appreciated, and recognized.

6. Great managers/ bosses set clear expectations

Setting expectations is really key. Sometimes, employees may not be certain of what is expected of them. Make tasks clear and concise. After this is done, leave the job to them to figure out possible solutions. Give them the opportunity to explore their creative side. After the task is concluded, you may then step in to make a few adjustments where necessary. Explain to direct reports, the time lag, the client, the amount of work that needs to be done, if any. Let them be able to appreciate the essence of the task at hand.

7. Great managers/ bosses get to know their employees on a personal level

Great managers create a relationship with employees and know more about them. It’s always good to show some interest in the personal life of a direct report. It gives a sense of belonging and shows that you care. Try to build rapport occasionally. You don’t necessarily have to go in-depth, but from time to time show some concern.

To be a great manager, don’t just tell employees what to do, but also explain the reason why and engage them in designing their work on an ongoing basis. From my experience, I find that bad managers/ bosses tell employees what to do, good managers/ bosses explain why we need to do the job, but great managers involve themselves in the job, work with employees on the job, and engage them all through.

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful weekend!

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