In business, everything starts at the top. A toxic boss affects every single person working under them, spreading that malaise amongst their team, killing drive and enthusiasm and causing people to become unmotivated and uninterested in their jobs.
And yet it’s surprisingly simple to turn it around. Being a bad boss is easily avoided, if you know what to look for. Here’s what you should be avoiding.
The seven worst behaviours a boss can have
Too much micromanagement
Nothing will make your personnel feel more constrained and tied down than being constantly micromanaged. If you hire someone to do a job, part of that is trusting them to be able to get the job done without someone staring over their shoulder or breathing down their neck.
Give people the freedom to be creative and innovate, and they’ll work wonders and constantly surprise you.
Having clear favorites
Nepotism and office politics will obliterate any level of trust, and any drive to achieve, an employee has. As soon as someone realises that all their hard work is essentially meaningless to get ahead, and that the only thing that matters is brown nosing and being a yes man, then they no longer have incentive to work hard.
Some people have to look good, or be the ‘best’ person in the room. This can manifest in so many ways, but one of the most common in the workplace is taking the credit for something that a member of their team did.
Again, if you work hard and achieve something great, only to see it snatched away from you, there’s no real reason to work hard in the future.
Feedback is important, no matter where you are on the chain of command. Everyone is human, and we all make mistakes.
Part of being a good boss, and a good person, is the ability to take criticism gracefully, and adapt the way you’re working around it. Worse still is that a boss who reacts badly to criticism actually teachestheir employees not to criticise, fostering an environment of fear where things go wrong but never get changed.
Never supporting or standing up for personnel
Part of being a team is working as a team, and that means sharing the burdens as well as the positives.
A boss that doesn’t stand up for you when the down times come, or worse, points the finger and castigates you alongside everyone else without telling you how to improve, helps no one.
Forcing people to work too hard
Crunch times happen, and sometimes a project’s due date creeps up on you, but constantly having an unrealistic idea about what your staff are capable of, and how hard you can push people, will kill motivation by literally burning people out.
Never rewarding or complimenting their staff
A huge part of why humans push themselves to achieve is the social aspect. There is a reason e share our successes with everyone around us. For a simple example, take a look at any social media.
So to have a boss who never seems to recognise your successes, seem distant, uninterested and unapproachable, or worse, only ever criticise, kills morale and enthusiasm to work hard.
One of the key roles of a manager is to foster the happiness and well being of the staff under them. Healthy, happy employees create a healthy, happy working environment, and this naturally makes people work harder and be far more productive.
A team, any team, lives and dies based on their morale. This is something that’s been known for thousands of years in the military world, but today, so many bosses seem to think that just paying their staff and making sure that no one makes mistakes is all that’s needed.
In fact, studies have shown that two thirds of people would rather have a better boss over a pay rise. No matter how many material perks you offer, having a good boss is the biggest thing that will lead to productive employees, staff retention and overall workplace satisfaction.