Consult Recruitment NZ > Leadership  > Want To Achieve Big Things? Start By Being A Great Boss.

Want To Achieve Big Things? Start By Being A Great Boss.

Engaged employees are worth their weight in gold.

Whether you’re a business owner, a leader or a middle-manager, your own success is absolutely dependent on your ability to inspire and retain your team.   

Yes, of course there are other very important elements to your job. But unless you know how to be a great leader, you’ll never be truly successful. 

So, what do people need from their boss? We’re in a pretty good position to answer this one. 

In every single one of the thousands of interviews we’ve conducted over the years, we’ve asked this question: ‘Why do you want to leave your job?’  

I’d say 90% of people pull out the trusty ‘I’m just looking for a new challenge’ line, but being the cynical old recruiters that we are, we’re not so easily fooled. Further probing always reveals they’re leaving because they’re not getting one of these three main needs met:


The need to feel successful at what you do is a powerful human drive. But so is the need to work hard. 

Positive psychology pioneer Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says people are at their happiest and most productive when they’re in the state he calls ‘flow’; essentially the sweet spot between boredom and anxiety. Or as business growth specialist Chris Savage puts it, “People are happiest when they have 10% too much to do”.

In other words, people will love working for you when they’re challenged, but have the ability to meet that challenge. Your job is to provide your employees with opportunities to push themselves, and to equip them with the right support, tools and training to succeed.


People need to know what direction the business is heading in. They need to know what their personal prospects for growth are. They need to know that their work is valued. 

It’s almost impossible to over-communicate to your employees.

Lack of communication leaves a void that will quickly be filled with half-truths and anxieties. Keep your team in the loop, and they’ll feel respected, engaged and ready to give their all for you. 


No one is going to give their best to an organisation they don’t care about. It doesn’t matter if your company is sexy or not – even if you’re in the business of portaloo hire, you should have pride in what you’re doing. Or else, why are you doing it?

Again, this comes down to communication: Of your vision for the company (and the specific role your employees have in achieving it). 

Of the high standards you hold for yourself and for every single employee. 

And of your expertise in your field – cultivating your reputation as an industry thought leader is critical to employee attraction, retention and performance.

There’s nothing that will have as big an impact on your career or business success than the quality of your leadership. So before you look to improve anything else about your work performance, focus first on becoming a great boss. 

About the author

Angela Cameron - CA, CPA

Executive Director

A chartered accountant by qualification, she is a recruitment leader by nature.

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