Mentoring: Elizabeth A. Harvey, Communications Manager/News Editor for the Office of Marketing and Communications at Elizabethtown College, shares her favorite feedback: “I manage student assistants — ages 18-23 — at Elizabethtown College. The best feedback I have gotten is positive: They see me as a mentor. I am told I have helped them learn not only in the job but also to grow as people because I gave them space to be themselves. I have been told that I guide rather than instruct.”
Supportiveness: Kristin M. Beck, Creative Director of Oceanwalker Studios, got meaningful feedback in a handwritten note from an employee who was departing for a new role at a different company: “You played a vital role in my growth during my time [here] — both personally and professionally. Thank you for always pushing me to be better (and for your patience!) and always believing in me. You taught me so much and I genuinely admire your strength, determination to stand by what you believe in, and your planning of fun activities for our team.”
Kindness: For Trishelle Miller, Program Supervisor at Spring Hill Recreation Commission, “The best feedback I ever received as a manager was hearing my employees tell me it meant a lot that I not only took the time to learn all of their names, but I worked hard to meet their needs and keep them happy. They were able to call me any time, day or night, and knew that they were valued. Knowing that these things made my employees excited to come to work meant a lot to me.”
Respect: As an editor, Wendy Kirwan, Director of Media Relations at Kars4Kids, must give constructive criticism to writers on a regular basis — not an easy task. So she was especially glad to receive positive feedback from one of her writers, who said, “You are, bar none, the best editor I have ever worked with. You don't mess with my style. You catch the things I knew were questionable.” Not only does this feedback mean that Kirwan knows her stuff as an editor — it also means that she respects the writer’s individual style. And doesn’t every manager want to strike that balance between providing guidance and allowing for individuality?
The leadership qualities that these employees value aren’t rare or difficult ones. Dedicate yourself to these traits, and you’re well on your way to being a great boss employees will be glad to work for.