Anyone who has spent time in the workforce can probably come up with a “horrible boss” story. When you consider that over the course of our lifetimes, the average worker has around 11 different jobs, then it is clear the chances of encountering a horrible boss are high. Fortunately, Google is on the case and they’ve been digging deep into the workplace to find out just what makes a good boss.
How deep have they dug? For 10 years, Google has been operating a research project named Project Oxygen. Their mission wasn’t impossible. It was to find out what makes a “perfect manager.” Armed with the information that they gathered from their surveys, Google will be able to elevate their own teams. Pretty smart. They’re also nice enough to share their findings with the world. Here are 6 things that Googles says makes a better boss:
They Are a Good Coach
Every problem that crops up in a business should be a teachable moment. That means the boss has to be able to inspire their team to grow from the challenge and learn by mistakes so as to avoid them in the future. A good boss doesn’t jump in and fix everything, but instead offers their insights as a way of guiding the team to a win.
They Don’t Micromanage
Have you ever had a boss say, “I trust you” and then stand over your shoulder making corrections every other minute? That is micromanaging at its worse. A better boss will give their staff the freedom to explore their own solutions and even take risks. Avoiding micromanagement also means providing flexible works schedules and creating productive environments. They hired the best for reason: To do their jobs.
They Create an Inclusive Team
Google’s research stumbled upon this valuable nugget: The key to generating success at work is to foster a “psychologically safe” environment. What does that mean? Google explains:
“In a team with high psychological safety, teammates feel safe to take risks around their team members. They feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea.”
Translation: Trust between a boss and their staff is a two-way street that should always be free of traffic jams.
They Are Equally Productive
One of the worst things you can hear from a boss is, “Lock up when you’re done.” If your employees are staying late to finish a project, then you should be staying late with them. You should be there to guide them through the rough patches and celebrate the victories. More importantly, you should be there to “call it a night” and give everyone a well-earned break.
They Are a Good Communicator
The first lesson anyone learns about communication is that it works both ways. A good boss not only listens intently to their staff’s concerns, but also shares the right information to help them succeed. Active listening is all about showing empathy. It also helps to provide information that motivates the staff. Doing something “just because” might work for a five-year-old, but not your staff.
They Create a Clear Vision for Success
A project begins with a clear goal. The path to that goal is the strategy that needs to be implemented for success. This is what the boss provides. When there is a “gap” in the strategy, then the team can fill it in. A good boss knows how to keep their team on track because they’re all going to be following that clearly defined vision.
Above all else, a good boss needs to acknowledge a job well-done. That goes a long way towards motivating any team. Do you have the right stuff to be a better boss?