Let’s face it: Nice colleagues are great, but an awesome boss is almost everything when it comes to career advancement. After all, you need him or her to show you the way (uh, not literally), evaluate your work, give you useful feedback, push you to do better, promote you if you deserve it - and even advise you to leave if your skills might be better appreciated in another company.
In short, you need a great boss to grow in the workplace. But how to tell if you have one, emotions aside? According to LinkedIn’s head of HR, Pat Wadors, the professional social network company has a set of criteria that every manager is judged on, which can also apply to other leaders at any organisation.
The criteria include seven types of behaviour that the best managers exhibit. And if your boss doesn’t display any of these? Perhaps it’s time to consider looking for a more supportive environment.
1. He/she supports your growth
“At LinkedIn, the best managers push their employees to constantly grow and develop with new challenges and learning opportunities,” says Wador. This is also a response to the realisation that employees no longer stay at the same job forever.
FYI, if your boss is supportive of your professional development, you should make use of it to your advantage by embracing challenges presented to you – such as going out of your comfort zone to take up new growth opportunities.
2. He/she reviews your performance continually
Ideally, the results of a performance review should not be a surprise, as both parties should be on the same page. Good managers don’t just wait for the annual review period before discussing an employee’s performance – and if your leader is one who reviews your work continually, you should definitely keep an open dialogue with him or her to ask for insights on your performance. This way, you’ll be boosted by your strengths, but also discover new ways of overcoming weaknesses.
3. He/she sets clear expectations
Communication is key here. If you know exactly what your boss expects of you, it’s much easier to meet those standards. Facilitate discussions with your manager on these expectations to ensure optimum efficiency at work.
4. He/she empowers you
Does your manager always ask you for opinions? Are your views valued in work discussions? If your answer is yes, you have a leader who believes in empowering employees. The best way to work with these managers is to show them that you’re constantly improving your performance by thinking of new and better ways of doing things.
5. He/she trusts your judgment
If your manager not only trusts you to complete the job, but also to do so in your own way - congratulations, you have a leader who believes in your judgment.
In response, you should be able to handle your job with a certain autonomy, and confidence that you can use your own judgment to get the work done within your company’s framework.
6. He/she explains the company’s direction
It’s all about the big picture – good managers make sure their team understands the direction of the company and how they can fit into the overall mission. As a good employee, you should be able to play your part to propel the company in the planned direction.
7. He/she walks the talk
Good leaders demonstrate the values and behaviours that they expect from their employees. If you have a great role model, you should definitely emulate them in your work environment.
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