The boss-subordinate relationship is a very critical aspect of organizational health, and needs to be one of mutual respect and understanding. Research has shown that managers and supervisors play an important role in employee satisfaction. Dissatisfied employees are demotivated employees, and their work suffers as a result. Another consequence of this dissatisfaction is employee turnover. Organizations cannot afford to lose trained, competent employees.

Provide Opportunities to Employees

Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. conducted a two-year study to understand the factors that help retain high-performance employees. According to this study, exciting and challenging work was cited as a top factor for employee motivation. Employees want to feel connected to their work. This connection develops if the employee has the freedom to influence certain aspects of the work, such as processes and methods. In order to facilitate such an environment, the boss has to avoid micromanaging the completion of tasks. The employee has to be given the freedom to perform the work as he sees best, within the recommended or approved framework. The boss should be available at all times for feedback or review.

Responsibility as an Appraisal Reviewer

Middle managers often have to appraise the employees reporting to them. The middle manager's own boss has the added responsibility of being an appraisal reviewer. This responsibility is to ensure the correctness and fairness of the appraisals. The appraisal reviewer has to set standards for timely completion of the appraisals, and ensure that there is inter-rater reliability. Another responsibility is to ensure that the performance standards set by the middle managers are reasonable, neither too strict nor too lenient. If the manager is conducting the performance appraisal for the first time, his boss may coach him on the techniques used to get optimal results from the appraisal.


Delegation is an important responsibility of managers, and is the path of career growth for both the boss and his employees. As managers delegate responsibilities to their subordinates, they have more time to take on duties of greater value for their employers.

Delegation ensures that the bosses spend more time on framing policies and guidelines rather than looking into the details of implementation. Delegation by the boss also allows his his employee to take on more responsibilities. This makes work challenging for the employees and enhances their motivation.

Responsibility Toward Employee Development

Training employees to upgrade their job skills or to familiarize them with the latest developments in the industry is an ongoing process in organizations. It is the responsibility of the boss to extend the training of employees to a personal level and enable their development as individuals. Managers should provide learning and experience that the employees would like for their own personal interest, development, and fulfillment. Personal development helps the employees look at their tasks with more maturity and enables them to perform better.