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How are you to work for? Do you believe your employees think you are a pretty good boss? You might be surprised. Ask yourself and your employees some of these questions to see how good you really are.

Do you have an open door policy in name only?

In the course of my consulting, I see many managers who say their employees can come talk to them anytime, but do not walk the talk. Oh sure, the door is physically open, but when an employee comes in, you look up mildly peeved and say “What?”  The employee quickly gets the idea that he is an unwelcome interruption and is less likely to do it again.  

When someone does enter your office, do you stop what you are doing?

In other words are you a good listener? Do you refrain from continuing to type on your keyboard or look at your latest email while the employee is speaking? Do you give them your undivided attention and use active listening skills like nodding, leaning forward, good eye contact and your undivided attention?          

Do you find things to praise about your employees?

Or are you known for only speaking when things are going wrong? A good boss takes the time to catch employees doing it right and to praise them publicly or privately, whichever the employee prefers.   

Do you encourage your employees to keep a balance in their life?

Or do you sigh and look displeased when employees ask for some time off in order to answer some personal need in their life? Are you noted for always coming up with last minute crises that requires people to work overtime? Well-balanced employees will be more productive employees because they are not burnt out.      

Do you punish employees severely when they make a mistake?

Everyone makes mistakes. If you want your employees to use initiative and to take some risks, you must take some failures along with the successes. How you handle a failure makes all the difference in whether you will shut down an employee or encourage them to keep trying, even though they made a mistake this time.              

Do you think everyone should think just like you?

Many bosses are guilty of this error. They tend to promote people like themselves when what they really need is diversity in their area. Different opinions and views must be made to feel welcome in order for employees to rate a boss highly.       

Do you have several means of communication with your employees?

Managers who share information and communicate regularly with their employees will breed loyal, happy employees. Staff meetings, memos and informal chats in the hallway are just some of the ways to keep your employees informed. This is especially important when the organization is going through some kind of change like a change of managers or the many mergers and acquisitions occurring in today’s workplace.   

Are you a leader?

Do you provide your employees with a sense of your vision and mission and do you walk the talk every day in every thing you do?            

So how did you do? There are many other aspects to being a good boss, but these will get you started. Try to get some honest feedback from your employees as to how well you are accomplishing these characteristics.


Peggy Morrow, CSP, is President of Peggy Morrow & Associates. She has over twenty years experience working in the areas of customer service, teams and time management. Author of two books on customer service, she has also published over 400 articles on management and customer service as well as being named a “content expert” for Inc Magazine’s web page, For information about Peggy's programs, contact the FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email
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