SINGAPORE: Acknowledging the weight of his upcoming responsibilities as the future leader of a small accounting firm, a man took to social media to ask Singaporeans “how to become a good boss.”

“I have been wondering what it takes to be a good boss to my staff. I manage a small accounting firm; we help SMEs with their accounts. This is a family-run business, meaning my parents are retiring soon.

My colleague and I are next in line for succession to manage the company together. I would like to hear some thoughts on this,” the man wrote on r/askSingapore on Sunday (April 21).

The man received numerous responses from Singaporean Redditors, offering unique perspectives and insights.

Earn people’s respect

Many stated that once he takes over the position, he must always have his people’s backs, never play favourites, and compensate them fairly. This way, he could earn their respect.

Trust your people

Some also mentioned that leaders should avoid micromanaging and trust their team to do a good job. One Redditor stressed, “If you want them to trust you, you have to show them you trust them first.”

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Create an open culture

Building an open and inclusive work culture was another key recommendation from the Redditors.

Allowing everyone a voice during meetings promotes a sense of belonging and encourages employees to share their thoughts and ideas freely. 

According to them, this open communication will eventually foster creativity, collaboration, and a positive work environment, all essential for a thriving business and keeping employees motivated.

Encourage staff to leave on time

Another suggestion was to encourage his team to clock out on time or even earlier if they’ve wrapped up their tasks for the day.

This way, they’re motivated to get things done promptly and still have a good balance between work and life outside the office.

One Redditor added, “You have to be proactive on this one because people will stay. The best way would be to leave on time yourself. If you do need to stay, jokingly shoo your staff off when time is up to enforce the “leave on time” culture.

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Even if work isn’t done, they should leave it for the next day if it’s not urgent/time sensitive. In the event that someone is staying back to complete a task, stay back to help them out. 100%, they will not forget the kind act.”

Praise in public; criticize in private”

When providing feedback, many recommended that he follow the ‘praise in public; criticize in private’ approach. 

When someone does a good job or accomplishes something for the company, he should recognize them in front of the whole staff, as this will make them feel good and inspire others to strive for excellence.

However, when it comes to giving criticism, he should do so in private.

According to them, keeping the criticism private demonstrates that the boss respects the employee’s dignity and allows for open discussion of issues without embarrassment.

Ask for feedback

Above all, they encouraged him to be humble and open enough to seek employee feedback. Also, if he recognizes that he has made a mistake, they advise him to admit it openly.

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One Redditor shared, “Don’t be afraid to admit you made a mistake too.

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