Battle of the Bosses: How to be that kickass boss people love

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This is Part Four of our How To Get Happier Employees series. Find Part One, Two and Three here.

Previously, you found out how open communication helps make a business successful and how to make your employees feel trusted and valued.

In our final part of this series, it’s time to look to the managers and how a good boss creates a great work culture.  

When it comes to inner communication, managers can be known to be irregular and fickle in passing along important information, in person or even digitally, like on the company intranet. Employees flourish on feedback and productivity soars under a positive and communicative work culture; why are managers so unreliable then?

According to a survey by Interact Authentic Communication, 69% of managers say they find it difficult to communicate with their teams. Bosses have a fear of saying the wrong thing, giving bad feedback, and showing vulnerability. Even giving clear direction and recognising achievements are uncomfortable. A problem exponentially made worse if a manager needs to reach out through a stodgy intranet. A poorly designed platform can make communicating more difficult as people can easily misunderstand requests or comments.

Yet, great communication is key to a company’s success, including employee morale if there’s a strong relationship between teams and managers.

Bad Boss vs. Good Boss

60% of employees say their relationship with their boss positively impacts their focus and productivity, with 44% saying a good relationship helps in dealing with stressful situations at work. On the other hand, the International Association of Administrative Professionals says that bad bosses and a thriving toxic environment prove to be the number one reason employees leave.  

Business consultant and author, Marcus Buckingham says, “One individual can drain your company of power and value if he or she is a bad manager chasing away one talented employee after another.” On top of that, a bad boss can impact the mental and emotional wellbeing of their team as well, says the American Psychology Association. When surveyed, 75% of American workers believe their bosses are a major cause of work stress. Additionally, the effect of a bad boss directly impacts the company, where hiring, training, reorganising teams, and dealing with the aftermath of an employee’s departure increases the chances of hidden damages and costs.  

Managers typically don’t aim to make the lives of their team miserable, except for the few who see compassion as a dirty C-word. Bad bosses don’t even know they’re being bad, just think there’s something wrong with everyone else.  

Bosses can become consumed with the bottom line and forget their employees are people too and worthy of dignity and respect. Few managers show empathy when it’s needed most, and if the boss doesn’t care, neither will the employee. 

A good boss will go out of their way to ensure their team’s happiness, actively listen and plan courses of action to find solutions. They find ways for their employees to be proud of their work, and when people feel proud, they are more dedicated, more confident, and more likely to recommend the company as a great place to work. 


If you’re not convinced by the benefits of good leadership, check out the epic Battle of the Bosses below! 

Battle of the Bosses

Here we’ve pitted our two contenders, Bad Boss vs. Good Boss competing to win Productivity Points (PP) using their ‘best practices’ on their own team! Will employees stay or join the other team as a result? 

It’s the most predictable fight of the century, but you’ll get to see who delivers the final KO for the win and who should slink away into the shadows of history.  

Who will ultimately prevail in the Battle of the Bosses? 

Round 1: High Demands 

We start with round 1 where employees must grapple with high expectations. But which method triumphs;  

A boss with a towering to-do list, demanding long hours and lightning-quick turn-around,  


A boss with a towering to-do list, collaboratively engaging with their team to create a reasonable, flexible schedule?  

Bad Boss took a beating at a 50 PP drop in productivity, but Good Boss saw an increase of 60 PP! It’s good to have high expectations of your team, it shows you trust them to do what it takes to succeed. Just be sure to work with your team to make sure your demands are realistic and put people into roles or tasks in relation to their talent, skills and experience while providing opportunities for them to rise above their own expectations. 


The battle has just begun, how will Round 2 turn out?

Oof! Bad Boss sure took a beating there with a productivity drop off 55 PP, while Good Boss is looking happy with an increase of 25 PP!   

Positive methods of encouragement followed through with positive reinforcement, sees productivity soar, instead of the opposite where productivity sours.  

According to a study by the American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, empowering employees and giving them a sense of authority, enhances their decision-making skills. Without having to seek a manager to OK a decision, or worse, having a manager negate their plan, employees feel more satisfied, engaged and committed to the company. 

When employees are happy, so are customers. And when customers are happy, revenue grows. 

So, will Bad Boss’ employees continue with this morale devastation? Or will they scramble for a better position with Good Boss? We’ve got one more round to go, let’s find out!


Round 3: Reward! 

In the final round, how do the bosses fare when it comes to rewarding their team?  

The boss who believes in taking all the credit for a successful project, yet blames their team when it goes wrong,  


The boss who appreciates their team, offers high praise for job well done, and learns from mistakes? 

Would you look at that? Bad Boss’ team has left for Good Boss! What a disaster! 


That signals the end of the Battle of the Bosses! 

We’ve learned that when employees feel valued by their bosses, 92% of employees are satisfied in their role, with 91% saying they’re more motivated to work harder. A good boss understands what their role is within a company, and that is to make sure the right people with the right skills and talents are where they need to be, and they themselves are there to make sure the plan of action is successful. If there’s a failure, they know the blame is completely their own, but also know that if there’s success, to give proper credit equally among their team. A great boss inspires trust, collaboration, empowerment and gives constant, positive recognition. Having a good boss in place is worth their weight in gold as they lead to productive and happy teams. 


If you’re a manager and see yourself in Good Boss, congratulations! You’re a blessing to your employees and indispensable to your company. But, if you see more Bad Boss traits in yourself, no sweat! Self-awareness is the first step to becoming a Good Boss, it’s just up to you to make that change. 

To find out more about how you can keep content fresh on your intranet, contact us for more information or book a demo. We’re happy to help.  

Your employees and success are your priority. Your triumph and glory are ours. Oak is there to make that happen. 

© Video Allegra Santis 2018

© Music Adventure Meme Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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