It’s National Boss’s Day – Are You a Good Boss?

“Happy Boss’s Day,” one of my employees wrote to me in an email this morning. First I’d heard of it. I repeated it to my boss when I office workers 150x150 It’s National Bosss Day – Are You a Good Boss?passed her in the hallway. Whew! Got that covered.

But then I got curious about what this “holiday” was all about. Hallmark Cards, which offers 75 varieties of greeting cards for National Boss Day (including one that plays “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive!) had this to say on their website:

“National Boss Day began in 1958 when Patricia Bays Haroski, then an employee at State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, IL, registered the holiday with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Haroski chose October 16, her father’s birthday, as the date for National Boss Day because she felt he was an exemplary boss. National Boss Day has become an international celebration in recent years and is now observed in countries such as England, Australia and South Africa.”

Nice that she thought her dad was a good boss, but what does that mean exactly? Best-selling business book author Jeff Haden recently had a column in Inc. Magazine called “The Five Qualities of Remarkable Bosses.” I’m paraphrasing here, but I encourage you to read the whole article and see how you stack up:

  • Train and mentor every employee. Performance goals don’t mean anything without great employees.
  • Deal with problems immediately and don’t let them fester.
  • Don’t ignore or fire your “weakest link.” Help them turn around the problem.
  • Don’t be self-serving…ever. Give your team the credit…always.
  • Don’t be a snob; spend time with your employees.

Monster.com, which helps thousands of employers find the best employees, also has good advice for those employers. Here’s what they say makes a boss great:

    • Sets clear expectations
    • Coaches
    • Gives feedback
    • Recognizes effort
    • Is inclusive
    • Gets to know employees
    • Finds each person’s unique talents
    • Works fearlessly
    • Is open and truthful
    • Is made, not necessarily born

I’m going to work on some of these, because it can only be a happy Boss Day when the employee who says it really means it. But first I might run out to the card store…

NOTE: Hallmark Cards is a BBB Accredited Business.

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About Katherine Hutt

Katherine R. Hutt, Director of Communications and Media Relations with the Council of Better Business Bureaus, is an award-winning communicator who has been helping nonprofit organizations tell their stories for the past 25 years. She was a CBBB consultant on numerous projects for more than a decade before joining the staff in 2011.