By Heather Brown


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Surveys have shown more than half of people will leave a job because of a bad boss. So, what makes a good one? Good Question.

If you google this question, all kinds of answers will come up — everything from giving feedback to inspiring employees to high emotional intelligence. But when you ask employees and bosses, a common these tends to emerge.

“Just appreciate me, that’s it, nothing more, nothing less, that’s all,” one Minneapolis man who’s had bad bosses in the past said.

Dr. Pri Shah, a professor at the Carlson School of Management, said she breaks down the characteristics of a good boss in to three traits.

“People are promoted because they’re good at a certain task,” Shah, who teaches the trust portion of the Carlson School’s Executive MBA program, said. “But they’re often not great at managing people.”

First trait: competence.

“Can their employees trust them?” Shah asked. “Do they have the ability to do their job?”

Second is dependability. She says this is where integrity is important.

“Will they do what they say they’ll do?” Shah asked. “Are they reliable, can you count on them in a pinch?”

The third trait is benevolence.

“Is this a boss with my best interest in mind and is willing to promote me in the future,?” Shah asked. “And, not just promote in terms of moving up, but are they willing to speak well of me to others, are they will to relay their social capital to me and help me form my network?”

Shah points to an instrumental study about how employees to respond to their bosses. It had to do with changing the lighting in the workplace and how it affected employees. The more they tested the lighting, the better the performance came from the employees.

“Finally, they realized it had nothing to do with the light, but the fact that they were being studied,” Shah said.

Heather Brown

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