An attractive compensation package, the proximity of the office to one’s home, the prestige of working with an established company—these are just some of the reasons why employees would choose to work for the same employer for a long period of time. Imagine how much difference it would make if you add a great employer to the equation?

It’s almost a natural impulse for business owners to focus on growing the business. But remember that a key part of your business’s success is your people—from the office staff to the production team to your sales force.

Entrepreneur Kat Erro, who is in the business of selling locally made leather bags and accessories, says, “The happiness of employees at work reflect on the service that they provide. Our brand, Katre, is also about amazing service as it is about quality leather goods. When my team is happy, they are able to provide great service to our customers—and that’s top priority.”

What are you doing to build a strong employee-employer relationship? We asked some company employees about best qualities they look for in an employer. According to them, a great boss:

…has an excellent grasp of the business. An employer who is just as knowledgeable about the company’s financial investments as well as the operation details earns the respect of the people working under him or her. “When my boss at the car shop shows that he knows the ins and outs of my job as an auto detailer, that means he recognizes the value of my work, and considers everyone in our team important,” says Diego*.

…practices fairness. Being fair is especially important when settling disputes among employees, or when granting promotions, for instance. Using tools and processes that ensure objectivity, such as scorecards for measuring employees’ performance, is a good practice. Carla*, a development worker for an urban housing firm, says, “It’s not just about paying us fairly but also about showing fair treatment to all employees.” An objective boss considers all sides first, without showing any bias, before coming to a decision.

…believes in mentorship. “A great employer is generous when it comes to imparting lessons and experiences,” Carla relates. A boss who shares his or her knowledge, skills, and insights encourages further professional and career growth for his or her employees.

…has confidence in employees. When you tell employees, “You can do it,” it shows you believe in their capabilities and you’re confident enough to delegate important tasks. Lissa*, a graphic designer, shares, “Micromanaging not only tends to make employees feel put down, but it also hinders them from learning from their experiences.”

…is both people- and task-oriented. Deadlines are, without a doubt, important, but a great employer gives equal weight to the well-being of employees. For instance, Diego is sometimes required to work long hours, but his boss makes sure he takes a break. “He would make sure we have our meals on time and take a few minutes to recharge before going back to work,” adds Diego.

…practices what he or she preaches. If you want your team to show up for meetings early, do so yourself. If you want them to observe proper a dress code, you also have to dress accordingly. Practice what you preach, and employees will surely follow suit. “I respect a boss who doesn’t expect special treatment and shows consideration for other people’s schedules,” says Josie*, a school officer.

…gives motivation. “My boss encourages me to aim for more important roles and gives me the chance to ‘practice’ managing my own team,” Diego says. A great employer does not want an employee to be stuck in one role forever. Aside from encouragement, make sure you provide motivation through bonuses, training opportunities, and other perks.

Being a boss is not just about giving deadlines and growing the business; it’s also about inspiring your employees so they can grow together with the company.

*Not their real names

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