How to be the best boss ever

Peter Maguire from Ridgeline HR has provided us with some invaluable information on how you can be the best boss ever so that you can assist your employees achieve their best with the end goal of having a successful business.

The good news is that it's not rocket science - study after study in Australia and internationally comes up with the same sorts of factors that go to making great employers and top places to work.

And it's not all about pay and perks - people want to be proud of the organisation that they work for, they want opportunities to grow and develop and they want to have a say and be really involved in organizational success.

What separates a "good" manager from a "bad" one?

Let's talk about the characteristics of effective managers (ones who manage people well) and they:

  1. Provide people with a clear understanding of their roles, the performance goals and conduct standards, how their role contributes to team and organizational success and the processes for managing performance and behavior.
  2. Ensure that people have what they need to do their jobs well - the skills and knowledge, the facilities, systems and equipment, the relationships with other people that are important in their roles and the support in training and back up.
  3. Meet with people regularly to discuss performance and conduct providing and inviting honest and balanced feedback and providing guidance and support as necessary.
  4. Hold people accountable for delivering on their commitments in performance and behavior and honour their own commitments.
  5. Understand that work is but a part of life and that peoples' needs for life balance are important and different respecting diversity.
  6. Celebrate and recognize the wins and learn from the losses and require their people to do likewise.

What role does leadership play?

Leadership is the binding glue that drives peoples' commitment and performance.

Having an inspiring vision about where the business is going, maintaining open communications, seeking, listening to and acknowledging peoples' views and acting on them to demonstrate the commitment from the top is all empowering.

People come to work to do a good job - a good leader enables them to do that through good management practice, engaging them as individuals and teams and walking the talk on vision and values.

Why should a business owner strive to be a better boss?

Lots of business owners say "Our people are our greatest asset" and that should be because business success is generally dependent on people delivering products and services to standards promised and expected by customers.

So logically, if you get your people doing what you need them to do in the way that you want them to do it, your business should have a good prospect of success.

Similarly, if your people are capable and motivated to do their jobs well and you have the systems and values in place to manage them properly, you have fewer people headaches to deal with, saving you time, money and stress.

Plus people will like working with you and word will get around - it is just good business and it feels good too.

Top tips to become a better boss

As a wise man said to me many years ago, "You spend a third of your life at work - you had better enjoy it". Try to make work fun (in a responsible way of course).

Listen to what your people have to say and learn from it continuously.

Keep your vision and values constant - business needs change but the core principles of how you go about doing things shouldn't.

Give credit often and when it is due and deal with underperformance or misconduct promptly and fairly.


Meet the business

Ridgeline HR is a boutique consulting practice which is about "Simply managing people".

They provide general people and culture services (from hiring to firing and anything in between) to small to medium businesses and specialized services to larger organisations and industry associations.

Ridgeline HR is the only consulting practice in Australia with a team of accredited Investors in People Practitioners able to work with businesses of all sectors and sizes using the Investors in People framework to improve performance through better leadership, management, development and engagement of people.

To find out how Ridgeline HR can assist your business with your people, performance and culture, visit