How Can You Spot a Great Boss?
The relationship you have with your boss can determine your job satisfaction levels or even your success at that employer. If you're on the job market, pay attention to the top qualities that define the best bosses so you know exactly what to look for in your next employer!
The best bossses always...
1. Value their relationship with every team member, regardless of rank
It benefits everyone to cultivate an atmosphere of civility, decorum, and mutual respect in the workplace. In the hospitality industry, the cachet and atmosphere of a property or facility can only be maintained through the concerted efforts of the entire staff. Even one dysfunctional relationship between a staff member and a manager can throw a monkey wrench into the finely-tuned engine of team dynamics that must function smoothly to drive top-quality service. The best bosses understand this.
2. Listen to employee feedback
Tension between employees and managers seems to be a constant in most workplaces. Against the high-stress backdrop of constant activity that defines many hospitality industry work environments, though, conflict between managers and personnel is sometimes particularly intense.
You can't be all things to all people, but in an industry constantly battling high rates of turnover, it may benefit your bottom line to consider employee feedback and adjust some components of your managerial style accordingly. We'll look at the criticism and praise hospitality industry workers have for their bosses.
3. Empower employees to make their own decisions
Ah, the elusive perfect boss. We all have our own ideas about what a fantasy manager would be like, and these notions tend to vary based on our personalities, past experiences, attitudes, and outlooks on life. Because managerial responsibilities vary so much in different industries, it is virtually impossible to determine objectively which one set of skills and attributes comes closest to perfection.
Trustworthy managers who allow employees the latitude to make independent decisions are the most highly regarded. Bosses skilled in teambuilding and promoting solidarity are also popular among hospitality industry employees. Rounding out the most popular personality traits for hospitality industry managers are honesty and integrity.
4. Avoid toxic behaviors
Hospitality employees appreciate employers who display positive leadership skills and offer open, construction channels for regular communcation and feedback. Bosses who create a negative company culture by modeling bad communication methods, treating employees unfairly, or who don't seem to care about the well-being or success of their team members are often seen as toxic.
5. Stay involved, but not too involved...
Hospitality professionals want bosses who are trusting (and trustworthy) and allow some independence and decision-making power, but not so much that they begin to perceive you as being lazy or overly reliant on them. Great bosses promote harmony and unity among team members, but also act with fairness, recognizing excellence, and punishing laxness. Great bosses are nice, but not so nice that you begin to blur the boundaries between personal and professional relationships.
Employees prefer it if when their bosses don't display either too much or too little of any attribute or personality trait. The perfect boss, then, is one who can find a path of compromise between too mean and too nice, too involved and too distant, too smart and too dumb. If you're a leader looking for a path that will improve your relationships with team members, the middle way may be the right way.
Here's what some hospitality employees have to say:
- Suzanne, a 15-year veteran of the foodservice industry: "Being a good boss is a lot like being a good parent—sometimes we need discipline, sometimes we need compassion, and sometimes we just want money. Most of the time, we simply need to know you're behind us if we need help."
- Bill, a foodservice supervisor: The perfect boss is "somebody who not only listens but hears. It is a subtle distinction but absolutely priceless in a manager."
- Steve, a hospitality industry manager who worked his way up through the ranks: "The 'perfect boss' is neither friend nor foe but a boss."