If You’re a Boss Who Does These Things, Your Employees Are Probably Eyeing the Exit

The bad boss perception…the number one factor that drives away great employees.

Unfortunately, many of the business leaders who have earned this negative perception don’t even know they’re seen in this light by their employees. Being a bad boss doesn’t necessarily mean you’re throwing things across the office and inflicting fear in employees – it can be more subtle than that.


For leaders who don’t understand why their talent management and retention strategies aren’t working, it may be time to take a hard look in the mirror.

If you’re a boss and you’re doing any of the following things, you probably have a group of employees that are nearing their breaking point and may be considering leaving:

Do You Know What Your Employees Think?

As a business leader you should be in-tune with how your employees are feeling about a variety of things from their work environment to the company as a whole.

Think carefully.

Do you really know how your employees are feeling? If you don’t, your employees could be seeing you as everything from out of touch to unwilling to listen and these are things that tend to push employees away, make them feel disengaged and ultimately lead them to consider quitting.

A good boss welcomes the opinions of his or her employees in a constructive way and isn’t disengaged from employees but instead has their finger on the pulse of what’s happening amongst the people that work within a company.

Are You Doing All The Work?

Business leaders, particularly within small businesses, tend to work extremely hard and while that’s not a bad thing or uncommon, if you’re doing all the work including the day-to-day tasks that you’ve actually hired employees to do, it can mean you’re micromanaging the people who work for you and you’re unwilling to delegate, trust your employees or give them responsibilities.

Good bosses are the ones who yes, work hard, but they’re not trying to do all the jobs within their company. They’re willing to trust their employees and give them responsibility accordingly. This makes employees feel better in most cases because they feel like they’re valued and trusted by their boss.

Are You Doing None of the Work?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, do you find it difficult to fill your day or do you spend most of your time in your office surfing the Internet?

That’s certainly not the best way to be a boss. You should be showing your employees you’re willing to get your hands dirty when necessary and jump in and do the same things they’re doing it if a situation requires it.

The best bosses are able to find a balance between working alongside their employees and also delegating tasks when possible. If you find yourself erring on the side of doing too much or too little, you may be frustrating your employees without even knowing it.

Do you change your management style with the wind?

Employees need consistency in their leader, and a lack of it is one of the biggest reasons they express frustration, anger and resentment toward bosses.

A leader absolutely has to be consistent from day-to-day. Often there are bosses who are in a great mood one day and let something slide, and the next day they’re ready to fire an employee for doing the exact same thing.

This creates a highly negative workplace culture and leaves employees feeling burned out, unsure of where they stand and stressed out.

Do you always want to be the nice guy (or gal)?

Bosses are meant to be the people who make the hard decisions in an organization and they also have to be willing to share bad news if it occurs.

If you’re always striving to be liked to the point you don’t feel comfortable making a decision or letting employees know what’s really going on, they’re going to lose respect for you and likely become disengaged from their job as well.

If you want to be a respected, effective boss you should never deliver things in a way that’s intentionally cruel or unkind, but you also have to be the person your employees look to for a sense of leadership and that often means you have to do or say things that aren’t popular but are best for the organization.

These are just some of the ways employees become frustrated with their bosses, which often lead to them quitting their current job. You may not even see yourself as having the “bad boss” persona and often bosses have the best intentions but still aren’t effective as leaders. By considering your own shortcomings before you automatically look to the failings of your employees, you may be able to refine or recreate your talent management strategy leading to greater organizational success.

November 26, 2014   Updated :March 20, 2015   bad bosses, delegation, micromanaging, retention   

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