Riiight. The buzzing sound of the alarm painfully startles you awake. As you rub your tired eyes, a feeling of dread grows in the pit of your stomach. This may sound like a bad case of the Mondays, but it’s a Wednesday and you’ve been feeling the same way every morning for weeks. That feeling doesn’t get any better by 10 am when you have a meeting with your boss. If this seems all too familiar, you might have a bad boss.
Managers come with different personalities. Some may be great leaders that have the power to motivate their employees and achieve great productivity from them, while others are unqualified to be in the position and tear down an employee instead of encouraging them to succeed. Bad bosses aren’t just a stereotype, they’re a lot more prevalent in organizations than we think. According to a Gallup’s State of American Manger Report, one in two employees will leave an organization because of a manager. The study shows that managers have the greatest impact on employee engagement, and actually account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across company business units.
How do you know if your boss is actually toxic or just lacking personality? Most experts agree that toxic or bad bosses share significant traits that create hostile work environments, demoralized and decrease employee engagement, and ultimately drive employees away from the organization. Below are signs that most experts agree point to a bad or toxic boss:
1) You can’t help dreading interaction with your boss –
You enjoy working with your team and your job overall, but most of your I nteractions with your boss leave you feeling defeated and questioning your skills.
2) Your boss doesn’t offer constructive feedback.
Your boss has no problem pointing out mistakes you’ve made, but he or she doesn’t do so constructively. Your boss will often use a condescending or raised tone when speaking, and isn’t interest in providing you support to improve your performance.
3) Your boss is a first time boss and is unable to give his group direction.
First time bosses will often lack the experience to lead their group. Your boss doesn’t seem to know what each team member does or how they contribute to the overall department.
4) Your boss proposes many changes, but does not want to be involved in any actual implementation.
Your boss has lots of ideas for implementing new policies and procedures, but the plans never come to fruition. He or she likes to take credit for great ideas, but will not take the necessary steps to get them set into place.
5) Your boss has double standards: He or she tells you to follow the rules, but your boss doesn’t follow them.
You’ve seen your boss preach about the importance of teamwork, but he or she will play devil’s advocate and challenge the ideas of the team and other managers. He or she will often come into work late or doesn’t let anyone else know when he or she won’t be in the office.
6) Your boss is passive aggressive, and has no interest in you.
In most of your interactions, your boss is passive aggressive – dropping indirect insults or insensitive comments. Good bosses are good leaders that care about their employees as much as the job at hand, if not more. If your boss doesn’t invest and encourage you to develop your skills and career, he or she may be a bad boss.
7) Interacting with your boss or the thought of doing so makes you hate going into work.
The weekend can’t come soon enough. You used to love your job, but now the thought of going to the office makes you uneasy. You may be experience issues with stress, including problems with sleep, hunger or unhealthy behaviors.
8)You are not alone. Others share your concerns about your boss.
Your boss has a reputation for being difficult to work with among other managers and staff. He or she often discounts or undervalues the ideas of other staff members.
9) Your boss never takes ownership for an issue, and always places the blame within the team.
Your boss blames his mistakes on the way the rest of the team executes his or her ideas. Your boss will repeatedly make bad decisions and blame the outcome on the team.
10) Your boss never takes one for the team.
He or she will not defend the team members in any situation even if the circumstances involved were out of the team’s control. Your boss will often badmouth you or the rest of the team in front of other managers or senior management.
11) Your boss demonstrates any types of unethical behavior:
You’ve heard and seen your boss lie, take credit for the work of others, and break the rules of the organization. He or she may give extra perks to clients even if it’s against company policy.
12) Your boss is demanding and prefers to give orders rather than recognize employees for their accomplishes.
Your boss isn’t polite, and will demand rather than request tasks. He or she will always point out mistakes, but never recognizes employees for accomplishments.
13) Your boss acts like a jerk to you and others.
Most of the time your boss has a short fuse and takes everything personally. He or she is not sensitive to employee needs even in the event of an emergency or extraordinary circumstances.
14) Your boss overwhelms you with work / requests without any consideration for your time.
Your boss gives you tight deadlines, without consideration on pending projects that he or she may have already assigned to you. He or she will often contacts you when you’re on vacation or on personal time even if the matter isn’t urgent.
15) Your Boss is a Micromanager.
Your boss seems to look over your shoulder constantly. He or she doesn’t trust your judgment on getting the work done, and will often nitpick your decision process or demand to approve all stages of your project.
If your boss exhibits any of these signs, then you have a bad boss. Do not be in denial and do something about it. Otherwise, you would be doing yourself a huge disservice. In an upcoming blog we will examine the effects of a bad boss and what you can do about it.
Image courtesy of NBC’s The office.