7 Signs that You’re a Bad Bosson 15 August 2017
It’s easy to find articles about the employer/employee relationship. With a few keystrokes and a couple of clicks, you can quickly find information about dealing with difficult employees, encouraging exceptional employees, rewarding hard-working employees, and the best ways to get rid of the worst employees.
We all know how challenging it can be to get the most out of those who report to us, but there is one aspect of this dynamic that we rarely consider:
What if you’re a bad boss?
I know, I know, I can’t possibly be talking about you, right? Everyone loves you. Your people give you Christmas cards, and bring a cake on your birthday. You don’t have any of the obvious symptoms, like a high turnover rate, or employees throwing eggs at your car. Clearly, this article has nothing to do with you.
But maybe it does.
If you want to find out, and you don’t want to risk asking your employees directly, take a look at these questions. Be honest with your answers – the results may surprise you.
1. Are your time expectations realistic? Are you that manager who waits until 10 minutes before closing time to give an assignment? Do you expect people to work late into the evening, and then berate them when they’re a minute late the next morning? Do your people regularly have to work overtime every week just to get their normal workload finished?
2. Do you give credit where credit is due? Are you that manager who takes the credit for your employees’ work, but then passes the blame on to them when a mistake is made? Do you insist on team collaboration, only to present the results to your boss as though you had done all the work?
3. Do you overpromise to the higher-ups? Are you that manager who commits your team to a goal that can’t be met without everyone working 80-hour weeks? Do you promise to deliver enormous, complex projects that are completely free of bugs in half the time it should actually take?
4. Do you show favouritism? Are you that manager who lets some people get away with things you’d never overlook in another employee? Does everyone know who your pets are? Do you have a clear favourite, and a clear scapegoat? If you know that an unpalatable assignment is coming up, do you immediately know who will get that assignment?
5. Do you let your employees’ concerns go? Are you that manager who says ‘I’ll get right to it’ when a team member asks you for a little help, and then forgets it? Do you think something like ‘if it were that important, they would have asked me again’? Would your employees say that you are helpful and responsive?
6. How are you with feedback? Are you that manager who has no problem giving ‘constructive criticism’ or correction or other types of negative feedback, but rarely – if ever – gives any positive feedback? Do you find it easy to critique, but can’t remember the last time you gave anyone an ‘atta boy’ or a ‘job well done’?
7. Do you thank your team? Are you that manager that assumes that you don’t need to thank an employee who is ‘just doing their job’? Do you even express thanks when your team goes above and beyond, or performs in some exceptional way? Do your people know that you appreciate them and the work that they do?
Are you that manager? If your answers suggest that you might not be the manager you thought you were, the fix isn’t all that complicated. These questions, the ones that helped diagnose the problems, will also help provide the solutions. With just a bit of corrective action, team collaboration and constructive self-criticism, you can turn things around. You can set realistic expectations. You can give credit when it’s earned. You can make appropriate commitments. You can be more equitable. You can address the concerns of your employees. You can be forthcoming with positive feedback. You can express gratitude.
By making these simple but important adjustments, you can become the kind of boss your employees want to have – the kind of manager that enjoys the respect of your team – and the increase in productivity that comes with that respect.
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