Career Management

Being a boss isn’t an easy job, however if you want to get the most out of your staff, it’s important that they respect you and in order to achieve this you need to be the best boss you can be. When you have your employees on side, it’s not only an advantage to you, but it will benefit the whole business as staff are more driven to work hard and commit to the company, not to mention that it makes the office an all round more positive environment when people get along.

So what does it take to be a good boss and what qualities do employees look for from management?

Unum have put together a list of do’s and don’ts that all bosses should keep in mind when managing staff, along with a few little pointers from some of the top real life and fictional bosses.

Key attributes of a good boss:

  • Be a good listener: Prove that you value your employee’s thoughts and ideas by listening to what they have to say, even if you decide not to take it on board, it’s important to give them the opportunity to have an input.
  • Build trust with employees: It’s important that your employees feel like they can trust you and in turn you trust them to do their jobs well too.
  • Inspire your staff: You want to inspire your staff to achieve their best and show them that you have the faith in them to accomplish this.


  • Take an interest in your employees: Get to know them individually and make the effort to get to know a bit about them and their lives outside of work.
  • Motivate your team: A bit of encouragement and rewards are great incentives to motivate staff to reach targets and goals.
  • Communicate with your workforce: You want your staff will feel that they can come to you when they need to so that any problems are resolved swiftly, so make sure you are a good communicator and make yourself available.


  • Don’t pass the blame: If things don’t go quite to plan take responsibility rather than placing the blame on your employees and encourage them to do the same.
  • Don’t have favourites: It will only make your other employees feel like they are not valued and could have negative implications on their work and dedication to the company. Treat all of your staff like equals and show appreciation for all of them.
  • Don’t let stress get the better of you: Managing a business or other staff can be stressful, but try not to lose your cool. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask, rather than crumbling under the pressure.

Words of wisdom:

  • Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook:

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”

  • Richard Branson – Virgin:

“The best way of learning about anything is by doing”

Not so wise words:

  • Michael Scott – The Office (US):

“Sometimes you have to take a break from being the kind of boss that’s always trying to teach people things. Sometimes you just have to be the boss of dancing.”

  • Gordon Gekko – Wall Street:

“Greed is good.”

Find out more below!


Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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