5 Things Great Bosses Do Differently to Get the Best From Their People

Last week I delivered a leadership workshop with 30 leaders. Probably a little larger than I would normally work with however the Human Resources Director really wanted as many senior leaders in the room. The day encompassed our key themes around Leadership being an attitude, action and choice, the importance of kindness, courage and inclusiveness in leadership which we explored at length, leadership styles and how leadership is about making a difference and impact. We also explored what makes a leader and why great and poor leadership can impact us. During the day I had several emotional people in the room truly get the importance of this action and attitude of Leadership. I really want to explore in this article other things leaders or “bosses” do differently other than being kind, courageous and inclusive.

In turn, when you ask someone who’s unhappy at work what’s causing their dissatisfaction, the answer is often their boss. The way our bosses interact with us has a massive influence on our work ethic, our mood, and even other aspects of our lives. Bad bosses and leaders can really impact your business and organisation.

The vast majority of managers don’t set out to intentionally make their staffs’ lives miserable, of course – but that doesn’t excuse it. Poor leadership is poor leadership, no matter what end of the scale. Even if you’re not shouting and being mean, you’re still doing a disservice to your team (yourself) if you’re not actively working to be a better leader.

It all comes down to leadership; we know that the ‘best’ bosses get the most out of their staff and make them happier, but how do they do it?

Well, you’re in luck! I’m going to share with you five things that great bosses do that keeps their staff happy and enjoying their work.

Are you a leader? If so, are you doing these five things?

Treat your staff like the individuals they are

While older styles of leadership look at managing people as a group, this does nothing for keeping employees satisfied.

When you don’t get to know those on your team individually, discovering their learning styles, skills, goals, abilities and interests, you can’t customise the way you interact with them. This personalisation is key to helping your team members achieve their goals and feel more valued and respected.

Celebrate your Leaders in the LeadershipHQ Outstanding Leadership Awards! 

Push the purpose

If your people don’t know what they’re working towards, or what the end goal is, their enthusiasm is quickly going to wane. Your organisation should have a clearly defined mission and purpose – and as a manager, it is your job to convey this to your team, and inspire them to achieve it.

A clearly defined purpose, giving their work meaning, is what drives engagement in a workplace. It also shows your team that you believe they’re capable of achieving the mission, empowering to do just that.

Regularly give personalised feedback

When you’re only giving your team annual performance reviews, you’re not allowing them enough opportunities to actually better themselves.

Feedback doesn’t have to be as formal as the traditional yearly performance review; even organising a weekly ‘catch-up’ with each team member will be incredibly valuable to their development.

Regular coaching is crucial to demonstrating to your staff that you’re invested in their growth, making them feel valued. Feedback should always be constructive and honest, and presented in a way that shows the opportunity rather than the negative.

Encourage collaboration and discussion by listening

When team members feel that they can’t contribute their thoughts and ideas, they tend to shut down and lose enthusiasm for their role. As a boss, you need to provide direction – but that doesn’t mean imposing your own ideas and views without allowing for input.

Listening is one of the best ways to make your team feel happy and valued. Encourage them to discuss and collaborate, and be sure to really listen to what they have to say.

Be consistent in your leadership style

Would you be happy if your manager was unpredictable in their leadership style? If you didn’t know how they were going to act on any given day? Probably not! That’s why it’s important that above all, you’re consistent in your leadership.

Change is inevitable, of course, but as long as you quickly embrace it and acknowledge it, you can make it your new ‘normal’.

Satisfaction is never guaranteed, but you have the best chance when you do the above

Sometimes, no matter what you do, a person isn’t the right fit for your organisation, or there may be another reason why they aren’t satisfied in their position. The things I outlined in this blog are practices that will drive your employees to be happier, more productive and more engaged. When you break them down, they all come from a base of being attentive to each team member individually.

Be consistent, champion your organisation’s purpose, give regular feedback and really listen to your staff. None of this is easy, but it’s what the best bosses do!

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.


To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.


At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website – https://www.mcdonaldinc.com.au/

Email – letschat@mcdonaldinc.com.au

Phone – 1300 719 665

About the Author Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership



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