Happy National Boss's Day!
When you think of a boss what comes to mind? Some jerk making you work ridiculous hours for no extra pay or appreciation? A lousy lady whose words sound like sugar-coated cyanide?
National Boss's Day actually began back in 1958 when Patricia Bays Haroski, then an employee at State Farm Insurance in Deerfield, Illinois, registered the holiday with the United States Chamber of Commerce. She designated October 16th as the holiday because it was her father's birthday. Haroski's purpose was to designate a day to show appreciation for her boss and other bosses. She also hoped to improve the relationship between employees and supervisors. Ultimately, in 1962, the governor of Illinois, Otto Kerner, backed Haroski's registration and officially made Boss's Day a holiday.
I have had plenty of lousy bosses in my life, and I'm sure you have too. At the same time, I have had just as many GREAT bosses and I'll bet you do as well, though it is unfortunate that most of us can only remember those who got our blood boiling.
But like Haroski, I don't want to talk about those people.
On days like these I think it's a great idea to reach out to our favorite leaders and mentors who have gone the extra mile to make our jobs and careers a little bit brighter. My favorite boss no doubt knows they were my favorite - in fact my first Christmas with the company I gave him the Michael Scott Dunder Mifflin mug which he uses to this day. It started as a lighthearted joke, but to me, it was true.
I recently posted an article on Facebook on why Millennials choose to leave their employers and it brings up a lot of great points for why folks in my generation are fed up with outdated structures and strategies. I highly recommend that anyone who is a Millennial or who manages Millennials read that article.
It does not take much to be a great boss beyond the regular day-to-day functions but so few do it and it makes a huge difference. So in honor of National Boss's Day, here are my top 5 best practices for the World's Best Bosses:
1) "Family First" - This was my favorite boss's main philosophy and it should be the philosophy of every boss. Your employees are real human beings with families; their job always plays second fiddle to those they love. If your employee has an emergency or wants to attend their child's baseball game, do not bat an eye - no job is more important than your family.
2) Say "Thank You" - I can't tell you how many times I would go over the top, balls to the wall to get a project done at the last minute without any acknowledgement or gratitude. An employer may start out saying this, but when they stop, it's time to move on.
3) Give Constructive Feedback - Telling an employee they are doing a lousy job is really vague. Tell them what they did wrong and offer solutions to make it better. This should not be rocket science but for many it STILL is.
4) Employees DO NOT Abuse Unlimited Vacation Time - This is a strategy for a lot of tech start-ups and it is a GOOD idea. Frankly, when an emergency comes up and it cuts into my precious vacation days, I get stressed and anxious knowing that I have to choose between visiting a friend in the hospital or spending a long weekend with my parents. If employees have the option to take time off, they will work harder to make up for it. If they don't? Well...you know what to do.
5) You were not born THE boss - Remember your roots, remember your journey and share this with employees. Share what you have learned along your career path with the younger crowd - you may not think they want to hear it, but they really do care!