National Boss’s Day (October 17th) creates an opportunity for employees and employers to foster a positive work relationship, and is an opportunity for employees to show appreciation for their boss’s hard work.  While you are graciously accepting your very own “World’s Best Boss” mug, reflect on what it is that differentiates a good boss from an ineffective boss.  Use the following qualities of a successful employer to assess how well you are doing, and if you are on your way to earning the “World’s Best Boss” title.

Defines clear expectations:  Setting clear expectations for employees is a sign of a good boss.  Employees should never have to question what tasks they are expected to complete, the timeframe in which they are to complete those tasks, and what their boss expects the outcome to be.  Good bosses set the members of their team up for success, and defining clear expectations gives employees the best possible chance to succeed in their position.

Gets to know employees:  By actively listening, employers can learn the strengths and weaknesses of their employees, as well as what their employees enjoy about their career.  Having conversations with your employees will help you identify areas that they are struggling with, areas that they are confident in, and future aspirations that should shape the way that you manage them.

Provides feedback:  After setting and communicating clear expectations for their employees, good employers will provide regular and many times, immediate feedback.  Don’t wait for their annual performance review to give an employee feedback that could have helped them succeed in their position earlier.  It is also important to give positive feedback in addition to critiques.  Employees are more likely to accept a critique after they have been given regular positive feedback from their employer.  By providing feedback regularly, good employers are able to create an environment where communication between themselves and their employees is encouraged.

Educates and coaches employees:  Part of being a good boss and helping employees succeed is making sure that they have plenty of opportunities to learn how to perform their job and grow their position.  The perfect way to do this is by providing training opportunities, as well as stepping in and coaching when you notice an employee struggling.

Open to new ideas:  Having an open mind to new ways of doing things is an important trait for a boss to possess.  Employees will appreciate an employer who listens to them and takes their ideas seriously.  Plus, listening to new strategies and solutions creates the potential for a more productive workplace.

Fair treatment of all employees:  Even though you may have favorite employees, it is important that you treat every employee equally.  Treating certain employees with favoritism or critiquing some more harshly than others is sure to lead to a feeling of inequality in the workplace.

Shows appreciation:  Showing appreciation for an employee who is excelling shouldn’t only be done when it is time for a promotion.  Although a promotion is a great way to show an employee that you appreciate their hard work, it can also be as simple as telling an employee that their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed.  It is important to give this feedback often because when an employee feels appreciated their job becomes more than a paycheck, it becomes a source of personal pride.

As we celebrate National Boss’s Day, make sure that you are working towards earning the title of “World’s Best Boss”.