Every employee is different.  Every employer is different.  Every place of employment is different.

But with all the differences, I often hear common threads of frustration that originate from people’s jobs.

One of the greatest sources of frustration with people’s jobs is their supervisors or bosses.

For those in a supervisory role, that may be discouraging to hear, but it is truth.

The Scriptures teach that those in supervisory roles should lead justly and fairly since we have that type of boss in heaven (Col. 4:1).  The role of a leader should cause to further the employees rather than frustrate them.

Many people grow weary with a leader not due to a character flaw but a competency flaw.

As I talk with many employees, here are 4 things I think all employees need from their bosses:

  1. CLARITY – Provide clear, reviewable goals and objectives for your employees.  You are frustrated that they aren’t doing certain things, but are you clearly communicating them?  Many employees want to succeed and to please the supervisor, but if the boss doesn’t take the adequate time needed  to provide the clear, reviewable target for the employee to hit, they will rarely hit it.  They don’t know where to aim!  Your frustration is evident or your distance is obvious and it just further immobilizes those who work with you.
  2. INVENTORY – Some employees are frustrated because they simply don’t have the resources needed to do the job.  Outdated technology, scarce resources, and limited budgets cannot meet the demand of a high-expectation boss.  No one should expect a limitless budget for what they want, but we need to reevaluate from time to time to see if everyone has what they need.
  3. HONESTY – All employees need honest feedback.  Dishonest flattery will just continue to provide what you have been getting.  You don’t have to be brutal, but you do need to be honest.  If you aren’t providing honest evaluation along the way, your frustration will grow and you might snap, demote, discourage, embarrass, or fire without any warning because you failed to do the hard work along the way.
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY – All workers need accountability to be effective.  If you have given clear goals, provided needed inventory, spoken with sincere honesty, you have earned the right to keep that person accountable.  Have a system where you check in on progress.  Set up reminders for yourself. Give the employees ample warning time when you will check up on the progress.

If you are a Christian, your work should be done as ministry regardless of what type of service you provide.  For those in supervisory roles, are you able to provide these 4 things for those who work with you?

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.