Employer

We’re only human and we all have our imperfections so I’m not saying that any boss is perfect BUT there are those ‘bad bosses’ who go beyond the odd mishap and seem to have a collective of personality traits that can leave you feeling (to say the least), miffed!

If you are working for a boss and find yourself nodding along as you read this list, you officially have a bad boss!

A boss yourself? These are the 10 tell-tale signs that YOU are a horrible boss:

1. You ask your employees to do a task at the end of the day

If you’re guilty of letting it get to home time, just as your employee has picked up their coat (ready to leave for the evening) before you hail them down by asking them to do a last-minute task (which could most definitely wait until tomorrow) then guess what, you’re going to be getting on your employees nerves.

2. You have unrealistic expectations of unpaid overtime

Expecting employees to be in 30 minutes early every day so that you can get more done without paying someone? Not really what your employees signed up for in their contract. Presenteeism over productivity is way outdated anyway. If your employee has things to do then they’ll come into the office to get them done – that’s their decision, not something that should be expected! Being made to feel like they owe additional time or feeling bad for leaving on time is not cool!

3. Then complain if your employees are 1 minute late

Those late work nights and early mornings without getting paid overtime, but yeah, that 1 minute in the morning seems to have made all the difference this morning as your employee gets a passive aggressive treatment. The effect? Note to self: leave tonight on the dot!

4. You’re guilty of general incessant clock watching

Some toxic managers are clock watchers, this starts with taking note of the time you arrive in the morning and leave in the evening, and can also include nitpicking about the length or time of work breaks. If you’re an employee putting in an honest day’s work and your productivity is good your manager shouldn’t be bringing up 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there. Even worse – if, as a manager, you are directly referring to other employees who stay in the office later than an employee. If they need longer to do the same job, fine (personally I would argue that the person who is able to complete their work in less time is just more capable/better at time management).

Taking a 20 minute uninterrupted break if you work more than 4.5 hours is also a legal requirement. If you’re a bad boss that is making your employees feel awkward about breaks – you should know that if your employees don’t take time away from their desk they will probably have concentration dips and it will have a detrimental effect on productivity.

5. You’re secretly lazy

When your employees can see you browsing the internet or engaging in your WhatsApp group you may think that you appear to have mastered delegation, you’re wrong. Handing out every task which comes in as you sit procrastinating doesn’t go unnoticed.

6. You passive-aggressively ignore your staff

One of the most unnerving, tell-tale signs of a terrible boss is one who rarely lets you know where you stand. If they also lack attentiveness it’s also a problem – it massively zaps motivation. Avoid shunning questions and please ask them how their day is going – at least once a day if you can.

7. You create new KPIs which suddenly flop

If you want to really irritate your employees and leave them feeling demotivated – sporadically implement ridiculous and random targets which don’t seem to materialise into anything. They usually phase out after a couple of weeks and just get in the way of their long list of things to do.

8. You relish in hindsight

After you’ve done something wrong there’s little out there which can wind you up more than being told how someone else would have done it differently! So when things don’t go to plan please don’t reply with a ‘told you so’ attitude – especially if, when asked for your input you said you were too busy to get involved. (Obviously constructive criticism is always welcome.)

9. You make it clear that you have office favourites

Now this doesn’t even have to be the best office worker, if you really want to annoy an employee make sure you actually aim your favouritism towards someone who’s actually mediocre but an obvious suck-up.

10. You overpromise and underdeliver

I’m sure we’ve all been there – think back to the interview when you asked about the smaller details of the role and you were promised the world. 6 months down the line and that “realistic OTE” isn’t even possible and as for that “work-life balance”, what work-life balance?

Nodding along?

Have you ever experienced these bad boss traits and wondering how to deal with them? check out ’11 ways to deal with a difficult boss’. Maybe you’re personally guilty of one or more of these ‘bad boss’ traits?

All is not lost – take a bit of self-reflection and ask your employees for some honest feedback. It’s not a well-kept secret that employee well-being is directly linked to employee loyalty and productivity.

If you’re a company that doesn’t look after your staff, they will end up resenting you, their work will suffer and they will end up being tempted away by a company who promises to look after them.


About Naomi Baggs

Senior Account Executive at Link Humans, London's employer branding agency.

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