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Six Proven Ways to Work with a Bad Boss

By Stephen Tweed

A colleague sent us an article from INC. Magazine by Peter Economy called, “6 Proven Ways to Work with a Bad Boss”.  It caught my attention because of the statistics on the opening paragraph:
“According to research on the topic, three out of four employees say that dealing with their boss is the worst and most stressful part of their job. Two-thirds say they would happily take a new boss over a pay raise.”

Our research at Leading Home Care shows that turnover continues to climb in home health care, hospice, and private duty home care.  The top technique for retaining talented employees is showing appreciation and recognition.  When people feel valued and appreciated they tend to stay in their current job.

The article in INC. went on to give the six proven ways:

  1. Don’t be a jerk yourself
  2. Say something
  3. Make her life easier
  4. Reduce dependency
  5. Be true to yourself
  6. Learn by (negative) example.
For the details on these six ways, read the article.  
More importantly, since you are a leader in home care, let’s look at solutions.
Six Ways NOT TO BE a Bad Boss 
1.  See the Bigger Picture.  In research on leadership in home health care, a survey of 200 home care CEOs identified “Seeing the Bigger Picture” as the most important competency for a manager or supervisor.
2.  Communicate Expectations and Directions.  Every organization we have ever worked with in 30 years in home care has said they have a communication problem.  There are lots of reasons for this, but a big one is not clearly communicating what you expect.  Be clear about goals, action plans, expected outcomes, and how you will measure performance.
3.  Be Decisive.  Learn how to make decisions quickly and effectively.  Communicate your decisions and help your team members understand why you decided the way you did. Help your team members learn to make decisions.  Then give them the authority and responsibility.
4.  Be a Coach.  Great coaches earn the respect of their team.  They help their team master the fundamentals of the game.   They give specific and immediate feedback.  They lift players up when they are down, and the bring them down to reality when they get to arrogant.  Be seen as a coach … not a Boss.
5.  Set Priorities and Manage your Activities. Be clear about what is important to you in running your department.  Have clear goals.  Track performance.  Then focus your time on achieving your goals and developing your team.  Set aside time on your calendar for team meetings and one-on-one coaching.  Set aside quiet time to work on those actions that are important but not urgent.
6.  Have a Plan.  Once you have worked with your team to set goals, then define the specific actions you will take to achieve those goals.  Have a system to track the most important activities and the progress toward your goals.  Track results and share the data with your team members.  Let them know how they are doing in moving toward the goal.
If you would like to explore ways to help develop the leadership team in your home health agency or hospice, let us know.  At Leading Home Care, we have provided education and training for leaders and managers in home care for dozens of agencies and hundreds of managers. We’d love to work with you too.  
For a list of topics and descriptions of keynote speeches and learning seminars by Elizabeth Jeffries and Stephen Tweed visit our website.
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