by Brigette Hyacinth
1. They are inflexible and make things difficult. They make mountains out of molehills for simple things as an employee needing time off or wanting to take their lunch earlier. Employees should feel comfortable to approach you at all times, but when you are inflexible, it creates a wall between you and your team. I am not saying being unethical or breaking procedure, but putting your team first and using your judgment in certain situations, will make people more inclined to trust you. If an employee gives their all to an employer and they respond with inflexibility during their time of need, at that exact moment the relationship is lost.
2. Showing favoritism. We know too well about office politics and favoritism. It’s really sad when employees can tell who will be getting the next promotion because of their close relationship with the manager. Always favoring certain employees for promotions and assignments is a sure way to damage team morale. Employees who are not in your inner circle will always believe that you favor the employees who are—whether you do or not. This perception destroys team spirit and undermines engagement.
3. They are quick to blame or punish employees. A bad boss assumes the worst. Throwing employees under the bus rather than standing up for your team in distressing moments is a sure way to lose points. Everyone is looking to you in moments like these. As the leader, why not act with dignity and advocate for your employees? If you want to build loyalty, you must demonstrate loyalty. When you blame employees, it destroys your credibility and leads to a culture of distrust. Good bosses don’t dwell on mistakes made by others, hold grudges or point fingers. They take responsibility and focus on solving problems.
4. They don’t show they care. A bad boss treats workers like they’re interchangeable. Employees want to work for someone who treats them like a person. They have emotions and personal lives. If you care about employees, you will not continuously push them to work long hours or contact them after hours. Taking a healthy interest in your employees’ lives is the first step in relationship building. It starts with supporting work/life balance. Show that you sincerely care about their well being. I can’t emphasize this point enough. If a staff member is dealing with personal issues as illness or bereavement show empathy instead of solely focusing on when they will be back out to work.
“Having a personality of caring about people is important. You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.” -Richard Branson
5. They don’t recognize accomplishments. No one likes to feel ignored or like their efforts are taken for granted. As Dale Carnegie stated, “People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.” Appreciate employees, show them how much you value their efforts. It does not have to be always about monetary rewards. But simple things as “Thank You” and “Well done” goes a long way. Bad bosses make work drudgery and it’s always onward to the next task. Employees spend over half of their lives at work. Create a fun atmosphere where you celebrate successes and bring people together.
6. Micromanaging employees. Your job as a manager is to provide the tools and support an employee needs to effectively perform. Micromanagement sucks the life out of employees. If you hired someone for a job then trust them to get it done. Constantly monitoring an employee’s every movement can be disheartening. Sometimes knowing when to step back and let your employees do their work is what they need. Ask for input. Encourage your team to come up with ideas. People like to feel like they have some say in what happens to them. However, worse than not asking, is asking but never doing anything with the input.
7. They have no interest in employees’ development. One of the top reasons employees leave a company is the lack of development opportunities. Employees can interpret an employer’s unwillingness to invest in training as a disregard for their professional development. Acknowledge and encourage strengths, recognize the different skills employees possess and recommend them for opportunities. Subsequently, if a team member has informed you they want to move to another department support their wishes, don’t be an obstacle to them.
It’s not rocket science. You can have all the perks and benefits but if you treat employees poorly, they will still leave. If a manager has a foundation of truly caring for their people, it becomes easier to lead and retain good employees. Your staff can tell if you are authentic and want the best for them. When employees have a boss who truly cares, they are willing to go the extra mile to ensure successful outcomes.
Thomas Wharton is President of LIFOCUS CAREER SERVICES an Executive Coaching and Career Coaching firm in Rhode Island, providing Career & Transition Coaching, Outplacement, Executive Coaching, and Assessments. Tom can be reached at 401.884.7959 • firstname.lastname@example.org. • www.lifocus.com •@careercoachTW