We have experienced many situations on our training courses or during coaching sessions where people have moaned about their boss. Have you ever considered whether you are the manager that employees love to hate? I can hear some managers now saying, ‘I don’t get paid to be popular’ or ‘I’m their manager not their friend!’ Whilst these sentiments have elements of truth, how far do you take this attitude towards the people you are relying upon to get the work done?
Let’s look at some examples we have come across where people told us that they hate their boss. Do you recognise any of these attributes or situations?
Humiliate Your Employees In Front Of Others
This involves criticising and making personal attacks on individuals in front other people including their peers. Some managers think this will galvanise people into action. Unfortunately this will only work with a small proportion of the population and may depend upon the occupation.
Do Not Keep Your Word
This one may be more recognisable. This may be where you promise that you will do something for someone and then retract it later on. Even though you are generally good to your staff and have good intentions, this may lead to people resenting you in you act in this manner. Promising promotion or a pay rise is risky at the best of times and doing so when it leads to nothing can cause many problems with that person in the future. This can turn a very loyal employee into a thorn in your side. Losing someone’s trust will seriously affect your working relationship with that person as it is very difficult and in some situations impossible to win back their trust.
Take Advantage Of People
Managers are often in a position of power. Some use this power in a way that is socially, morally or ethically wrong. Putting people in a position where you expect them to do something that is against their morals or values will certainly lead to the person feeling very uncomfortable and ultimately can lead to anxiety and stress. Asking team members to lie or do something that is unethical or even illegal can put them in a very vulnerable position. Any way that power is used inappropriately and against their normal behaviour, will result in that person hating the manager who has inflicted this upon them.
Always Asking Tasks To Be Done Last Minute Or Urgently
Disorganised managers can have the nicest personality but when they cause hassle or stress by always asking people to complete tasks urgently or at the last minute can cause real friction. You can easily lose the goodwill of your staff if you act like this because it gives the impression that you don’t value their time. If you know this is a weakness in your character then seek out methods that can make it easier for you to become organised in these situations. Unfortunately we can’t all have personal assistants to look after us and remind us when we need to do things. We can however adopt practices used by organised people. Many people who naturally find time and task management challenging like it when a structure is put in place that other people ‘police’ on their behalf. Utilise the strengths of people in your team and make sure you recognise them for it.
These are only a few examples of behaviours that cause managers to be ‘hated’ by their employees. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean that you can get away with anything. Whilst people may not openly confront you it is what they are doing behind your back or how much they are withholding their services. Many employees in this position may want to ‘balance the books’ by taking time off sick at critical times or even put you in an embarrassing position in front of their boss. You have been warned!
Head of Training
Originally published: 13 March, 2013
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