While it may sound like a cliché, the line, “People join companies, but they quit bosses,” is rooted in truth. An employee’s experience with the boss is the most important relationship in the workplace. When bosses care about their staff, are fair in their dealings with them and treat them with respect, it creates a work environment where employees want to be, are willing to do their best for the boss, and are less likely to leave. Managers and supervisors who fail to treat staff with fairness and respect are contributing to higher turnover.
Just as bosses should let productive and engaged staff know they are valued and appreciated, staff should also be letting effective supervisors know they are appreciated.
While such expressions of appreciation should occur throughout the year, National Boss Day—Wednesday, October 16, 2013—provides a focus for acknowledging supervisors, managers and other leaders. Here are few suggestions of ways to celebrate National Boss Day where you work:
- Have everyone sign a card for the boss. Now that greeting card companies have discovered National Boss Day, there will be several designs from which to choose.
- Skip the card shop and send the boss an environmentally friendly e-card—some are free, while others have a small fee associated with them.
- Organize a potluck lunch in the boss’s honour.
- Gather a number of small gifts to be delivered to the boss’s desk throughout the day: coffee to start with, a mid-morning treat, a gift card to his favourite retailer. End the day with movie passes for the boss and his/her significant other.
- Say thank you with the gift of an appropriately-illustrated calendar (after all, it will be 2014 in just a few weeks): consider a food calendar for someone who likes to cook, a hockey calendar for a sports fan, a calendar with photos of dogs or cats for a pet lover.
- Purchase a book for the boss. It could be the latest management book, a new novel by her favourite author, or a travel guide to a country that he dreams of visiting.
- Invite the boss to join you (and perhaps a few of your colleagues) for lunch or coffee. Use this time to express gratitude for the boss’s leadership. Allow the boss to direct the rest of the conversation. Talk about what she wants to talk about. This is not a time to pursue your agenda.
- Create an appreciation journal. Have each of your co-workers write a message of appreciation in a small notebook that will be presented to the boss. Increase the number of positive messages by asking customers, your boss’s boss and people from other departments who come into contact with him to contribute their thoughts.
- Design a book of coupons that the boss can exchange for lunch at the cafeteria, a cup of coffee delivered to his desk, 15 minutes of unpaid overtime from an employee, a personal errand completed by an employee during his lunch break, etc.
- Google “leadership quotations.” Select a few that capture the essence of your boss’s leadership style and post them around her office.
These suggestions are only a start. When you and your colleagues apply your creativity to the task, you will come up with many more—and better—ways to acknowledge your supervisor or manager on National Boss Day. And when you do, please let me know how you plan to celebrate National Boss Day.