Even in the best of work environments, it is not uncommon for the occasional office bitch session to break out – and sometimes the subject of these sessions is none other than the boss! It is easy, after all, to pick on the things you feel your boss is doing wrong. But the boss didn’t get to be the boss without doing at least a few things right.

There are many behaviours that contribute to the making of a good or – dare we say – even great boss. We’ve identified five such behaviours – and if your boss is doing them, he or she is doing something right.


Nobody likes to feel that their work doesn’t matter. Whether an employer runs a company that offers IT services or sells tacos, it is important to communicate to employees how they are serving the company, how they are serving the client, and most of all why it matters.

When the boss is clearly excited about the company vision and can rally the team to get excited about it as well, employees have a sense of purpose. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will love every aspect of their job, but they will be more likely to feel that they are part of something that matters.


Nothing causes tension in a work environment quite like when the boss has obvious favourites. While it’s human nature to become closer to some people in the office than others, a good boss will make every effort to treat employees fairly.

This might mean that employees have equal access to the boss when they need to go to him or her with an issue, or it might mean that everyone in a given department can feel that their voice will be heard when they have suggestions for a project.

Keep in mind, though, that fairness doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has the same bonus level or chance for promotion. Some things must be decided on merit.


The best bosses are those who are there when you need them – and not there when you don’t need them. A good boss will get to know the strengths of his or her employees. He or she may give employees a certain project to complete and perhaps will check in on their progress from time to time – but does so without micromanaging.

By allowing employees a degree of autonomy, they are more likely to feel satisfied with their job – and without having to constantly report to the boss, they will be more productive as well.


A good boss does not feel threatened by the accomplishments of his or her employees and is not shy about making sure employees are given credit for their work. True, your boss may not be the type to gush over every little thing, but he or she should not be stingy with ‘thank-yous’ and should not hesitate to give employees the credit they deserve in front of other employees, other managers, or customers.


Not every company has the same opportunity for employees to move up through the ranks – but every company does have opportunities for personal growth amongst its employees. Offering training and teaching is one way to promote growth, but it can also be done by offering employees more challenges in their jobs.

This will help to keep employees engaged – especially if the boss creates an atmosphere in which employees are not afraid to fail or try new things.

Your boss may not be perfect at all of the above behaviours, but it’s likely that he or she gets some of them right some of the time. So next time you feel tempted to join in the office bitch session, try to remember some of the things your boss is doing right.

Written by Kristen Duever