What Makes a Great Boss- a Millennial Perspective


What are some of the top reasons that employees leave their job? Well, there are a million and a half reasons people give for leaving. Examples include going back to school, moving to different city/state, having to take care of a loved one, wanting to spend more time with loved ones, or a better opportunity presented itself. From my experience as an HR Professional people don’t quit their job, they quit their boss. So, all leaders out there reading this post- this is a shout out to you. I want to help you retain your employees.

As a leader you are held to higher standards- especially by your employees. Everything you say and do will be scrutinized. With this in mind we should ask: what are employees looking for in a leader? Employees are looking for a leader that cares about them; that will back them up in scary situations, someone that they can trust. Employees are looking for all of these things and more. Now, I am not saying you have to be all touchy feely and cry with people when they are feeling down- NO. I am saying that building a strong, trusting, and transparent relationship is important and will help build your credibility with your employees. You can build these relationships by learning what their hobbies are, about their family, what things are important to them, and what their goals are for the future; and then remembering the information.

The best boss I ever had did all of these things and then some. He was always truly genuine and when it came time for him to part ways with the company, everyone was devastated. A huge party was thrown, a video was made, and many cards were sent. Employees & leaders from all departments came to wish him good luck and farewell. I realize in hindsight all of the things that made him a great leader, and this is my way of sharing that information with you.

This boss truly cared about every one of his employees, even the intern. He knew their kids names, and their spouse’s names, sometimes even their dogs names and he asked how they were doing constantly. He also had a sense of humor! He appreciated every little task that was done by his employees. No task was ever too big or too small and it never went unnoticed. He put a lot of time and effort into building up his employees- making sure they had all the tools that they needed- and in turn this made him look good because all his goals & initiatives were getting accomplished ahead of schedule. When people came to him with questions or concerns, he wouldn’t dictate orders, he would probe and ask questions allowing the employee to deduce the correct answer. That way they learned & would retain the information better. Trust & transparency were big ticket items on his agenda and were things he looked for in his employees.


In the end, what I learned from working for this boss was that caring about your employees, building genuine relationships, and showing appreciation are just a few things that can take you from good to great in your employee’s eyes. Who was your favorite boss and what kind of things did they do to separate themselves into the great category?

For more interesting reads about leadership visits:

Lolly Daskal

Bret Simmons

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2 thoughts on “What Makes a Great Boss- a Millennial Perspective

  1. Pingback: Empowering Millennials | Recruit, Engage, & Retain

  2. Pingback: 5 Tips to Recruit, Engage, and Retain the Millennial Generation | Recruit, Engage, & Retain

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