Here we are in mid January and before you know it, end of financial year invitations will be flooding your in-box, followed quickly by Christmas party invitations. As a supervisor what are your goals for 2016? What would you want your staff to be saying about you at the end of the year?

Here are my top four tips to be a better boss this year.BOSS

Don’t think of yourself as the boss

Yes, I know I used that word. But in reality, if you treat your staff as you would like to be treated yourself, and act as a team-mate, albeit one with greater authority, you will develop greater trust with your staff than if you regard yourself as their ‘boss’. This is not to say that you can’t, when the situation requires it, be the one in charge and make difficult decisions or have difficult conversations – how you do this will determine how you are viewed.

Communicate often and well

Tell your staff what is going on – with you, your work, the clients and the firm. Knowing the big picture, and what the stressors are, both internal and external, will allow staff to understand you in a much deeper way and promote stronger relationships. Partners often worry about telling staff too much – obviously very confidential matters can’t be discussed with staff, but if for example your firm is looking to expand its practice areas, you can discuss in general terms where you see the firm going.

Conduct your staff appraisals on time and with time

Your staff appraisals are very important – an opportunity to review progress against goals, give constructive feedback and set goals for the future. I know you have many to do – your staff member just has the one and it is important to them. Don’t put them off, whether you are giving good news or bad. And allow plenty of time to do it properly. Remember that appraisals are to cover off the last 12 months, not the last 2 weeks.!

Model best practice

Be flexible. Say thank you. Network like an Olympic champion. Deal with difficult issues promptly. Communicate. Delegate. Be generous. Model the behaviour you like to see in others and the behaviour you want your staff to emulate.


Mix it up in 2016 – we all have things we can do differently or better.

What can you do differently this year to enhance your performance as an employer?