Five things great bosses do daily

Every morning, your team members rally themselves to come to work. Some are enthused about what they’ll experience that day. They feel trusted, honored, and respected. They’re optimistic about what they’ll learn, how they’ll partner with peers, how they’ll contribute to customers’ quality of life that day.

Those team members don’t have to work hard to rally themselves.

Other team members are not enthused about what they’ll experience in your team’s work environment. They might feel it’s much more likely they’ll be demeaned and discounted than trusted or respected at work that day.

Those team members have to rally themselves hard to get into work.

If your workplace culture doesn’t treat team members with trust, respect, and dignity in every interaction, you’ve got work to do. You need to embrace the best practices of great bosses.

Over 30 years of research and experience have helped me identify these five best practices that help great bosses craft high performing, values-aligned teams. These practices are easily remembered – they form the acronym GREAT.


Great bosses inspire growth

They create avenues for team members to learn new approaches, develop new skills, and gain confidence to put those skills into action in the workplace. They don’t allow team members’ skill sets to stagnate. GREAT bosses help team members continually boost their contribution and value to the company.


Great bosses honour relationships

They know that positive relationships based on shared values create mutual trust and respect in the workplace. They create and maintain positive relationships with team members and expect the same among team members. They act to maintain a safe, inspiring, productive workplace so employees feel valued and honored at work. GREAT bosses know that trust and respect is a fragile state; it must be tended and monitored daily.


Great bosses inspire excellence

They set clear performance expectations and coach team members to exceed them, every time. High standards met consistently help differentiate the team’s contribution to the company and to their customers. They must create a work environment that enables team members to apply their knowledge and skills in service to the team’s performance standards.


Great bosses ensure accountability

They know that consequence management is the avenue to high performing, values-aligned teams. They praise and encourage progress and accomplishment of both goals and valued behaviours. They redirect and, if needed, reprimand values mis-aligned behaviours and/or missed performance standards.


Great bosses spur teamwork

They know that cooperative interaction among team members maintains trust and respect more than competitive interaction does. They align all players to norms that enable sharing of information, skills, and support across their team. They hold teams and team members to high standards, not just for performance but for citizenship, as well.

By embracing these best practices, you can create a safe, inspiring, productive work environment that team members thrive in – and love being a part of.