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Lead Your Team Managing

4 Things All Great Bosses Do

4 Things All Great Bosses Do
Credit: patpitchaya/Shutterstock

While hard work, dedication and skill make a great employee, these traits alone don't necessarily make a good boss. Bosses need other qualities to be a great leader, some of which they may not naturally possess.

According to a 2014 study by Gallup, just 10 percent of the population has the talent needed to manage others.

"Though many people [are] endowed with some of the necessary skills, few have the unique combination of talent needed to help a team achieve excellence in a way that significantly improves a company's performance," the study's authors wrote.

So what does it mean to be a great manager? Business News Daily spoke with experts to uncover four things that all great bosses do. 

Working with your employees builds better work relationships, and helps you learn about the strengths and weakness of each team member. Your workers will also trust you more if you work with them.

"The best bosses teach and motivate teams and individuals to achieve results by staying 'in the trenches,' providing support and [overseeing] day-to-day workflows and priorities," said Steven Aldrich, chief product officer at GoDaddy. "An employee will likely be more receptive to feedback if they know their manager has a true understanding of the day-to-day processes or work going into a particular project."

"By choosing to lead by example and demonstrating that [you] are an expert at what [you] are asking employees to do, it will often result in more respect and productivity," added Sacha Ferrandi, founding partner of Source Capital Funding Inc. "It's impossible to deny that the work ethic of a boss is contagious – if you work hard for them, they are more likely to return the favor and work hard for you."

Good bosses recognize their employees and give credit when it's deserved. Employees want to feel appreciated and have their work noticed. When they receive credit and recognition, it's motivation to keep working hard. If bosses fail to give positive feedback, employees think their work goes unnoticed and will start caring less.

"If you want more employees to be loyal to you, be loyal to them first by recognizing their accomplishments," said David Long, CEO of MyEmployees. "Everyone wants significance. Give it to them, or you'll lose them to someone who will."

Great bosses are clear. They set expectations and effectively communicate with team members to ensure everyone is on the same page. Once your expectations are clear and you're regularly communicating with employees, allow them to find ways to meet your expectations, said Andrea Fredrickson, president of Revela.

"This keeps employees focused on the results without dictating the process," Frederickson said. "Employees can find the best ways of meeting expectations and [creating] improvements to processes."

It's important to have individual chats with team members to strategize, deliver criticism and praise. Regularly check in with team members to ensure they are happy and feel challenged in their role. 

"[Good managers] take the time to regularly meet face-to-face with their team members for open discussions about their workload and future within the company," said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation. "These same managers listen to what their employees have to say and encourage feedback."

Like good coaches, bosses should keep employees motivated and passionate about the work they do.  

"[Employees] want to be happy with their job while developing a successful and fulfilling career," said Steven Benson, founder and CEO or Badger Maps. "Be aware of your employees' goals and help them align their career accordingly."

Let employees know you care about their future and career. Provide them with the training and knowledge they need to succeed in the workplace.

"An effective boss works hard on training their employees early on so they can then give [employees] the autonomy to work through their roles in their own way," said Lionel Marsanne, CEO of CimAlp. "You can be there for them when they ask for help, but make sure to coach and guide them instead of taking over."   

Additional reporting by Brittney Morgan and Chad Brooks. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Saige Driver

Saige Driver graduated from Ball State University in 2015 with a degree in journalism. She started her career at a radio station in Indiana, and is currently a B2B staff writer at Business News Daily. She loves reading and her beagle mix, Millie. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.