Fantastic bosses? For most of us that dealt with bosses throughout our careers, “fantastic”, “awesome”, “wonderful” are probably not the first words that come to mind…

Yet, there are fantastic bosses, and if you are, like me a boss now, you want to strive to be “fantastic”! Great bosses do more than just sit in the corner office. They manage to inspire their employees to greatness. Rather than nagging or creating a negative environment of fear and competition, their offices become places of encouragement and success.

So how do they do it?

Here are three secrets that fantastic bosses have managed to tap into.

Lead By Example And Not Just By Talk

Leading by example touches upon many areas of a professional organization. Take HubSpot, for example. The company is known for having an office-less floor plan to encourage cooperation among their employees. Whether you personally love or hate the idea of taking down office and cubicle barriers, the key here is thateveryone participates in this plan– even the founders and executives. The leads of the company participate in the company culture rather than being separate or above it.

It also extends to company processes. If you introduce a new management system or if you have defined protocols for reviewing documents, you must follow them as well. Casting separate rules for yourself at any part in the organization will only alienate your employees and reinforce the idea that you are somehow separate from everyone else.

Give Employees a Sense of Accomplishment And Purpose

Money might be a fantastic motivation for getting people to perform menial tasks, but if you want to encourage creativity and complex analysis, you want to motivate people with emotion and purpose. Providing employees with the emotions associated with accomplishment and purpose can be the perfect way to inspire incredible work. Consider ideas such as:

  • regular, company-wide recognition ceremonies where certain employees receive rewards
  • offering rewards such as trips for those who meet certain goals
  • personal thank-you notes from c-suite leaders for particular accomplishments
  • regular employee appreciation events such as summer barbeques or inviting the highest performers to lunches with the c-suite leaders

Place a Strong Emphasis On Progress

Have you ever participated in a fundraiser that had one of those progress bars that showed how much your contribution brought the organization closer to its goal? What was the impact of this bar compared to an open-ended fundraiser?

Progress helps us feel as though our work means something and has value for the organization as a whole. It helps us feel appreciated and feel good about our work. A study conducted by behavioral economist Dan Ariely found that when people could see the fruits of their labor, they naturally become more productive.

Effective leaders know how to capture this powerful motivator and use it in the workplace. You can do this by:

  • Encouraging people to reflect on their own progress and what they have accomplished
  • Providing feedback for people as they progress on projects
  • Celebrating milestones

Being an effective leader is about more than just planning the projection that you would like the company to go. It requires encouraging the rest of the company to follow you on the journey.

This article is published in collaboration with LinkedIn. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: Jerome Knyszewski is a Business Growth Strategist, Online Reputation Management & Marketing Mentor and Author.

Image: Traders laugh as they work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the market closes in New York.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson