#146 – Today is National Boss Day

Ever curious about the genesis and history of things, here’s what a quick Internet search turned up for today’s “holiday.” National Boss Day was started in 1958 when Patricia Bays Haroski, then an employee at State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, Ill., registered the holiday with the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. She designated October 16 as the special day because it was her father’s birthday. (Her father was her boss.) Ms. Haroski’s purpose was to designate a day to show appreciation for her boss and other bosses. She also hoped to improve the relationship between employees and supervisors, and believed young employees often do not realize the challenges bosses face in running a business.

Food for Thought ~

Yes, many employees do not understand the scope of responsibilities, stress and challenges of being a supervisor, manager, or leader, just as many leaders and managers don’t fully appreciate the issues their employees face. Lack of understanding is a two-way street. However, it’s more important for “bosses” to have insight and knowledge into their employees’ work. Managers and leaders must accept that their authority, both real and perceived, is a separating factor. A trusting environment with good communication practices can minimize the divide, and is well worth the effort. The kaizen philosophy of employee participation is an example of how employees can be effective partners in making decisions. Trust, participation, and information sharing will do wonders for increasing the understanding between employees and their “bosses.”

Question for the day ~

How well does your organization do at information sharing and employee participation? What might you do to increase, improve or maintain a high level of trust?

I don’t know if Ms. Haroski’s hopes are being realized by this holiday, but I commend her laudable intentions and pluck.