No matter your qualifications, how your employees perceive you will determine whether or not you’re considered a good boss. And your performance as a boss can have an impact on company productivity and profitability.
There are a lot of reasons your employees may not like you. These feelings can stem from a lack of training on your part, not taking accountability for your mistakes, or behaving in uncaring ways toward employees who are under your direct supervision.
Here are some common complaints people have about their bosses:
- You’re not competent at your job — It doesn’t take employees long to realize someone doesn’t know how to do their job. If you are new to the position, most employees will give you some leeway, as they understand that taking on a new role can be challenging. However, if you are continually incompetent despite months or years in the position and your employees are picking up the slack, they will start to resent you. Additionally, if you don’t exhibit good leadership qualities, your employees will not only dislike you but will also not respect you. Your incompetence will shine through when you give employees bad advice, don’t take ownership of your mistakes, or fail to provide good instruction to your employees.
- You micromanage — Nothing makes an employee more irked than having someone watching over their shoulder as they are doing their work. If you micromanage your employees, you are showing them that you don’t trust them. Since trust goes both ways, they will start to dislike you and mistrust you. You hired them because they have experience doing that job, so you should trust that they know what they’re doing and don’t need their hand held throughout the process.
- You disrespect your employees — Even though you are a boss, it doesn’t give you the right to be disrespectful or mean toward your employees. Employers who belittle their employees’ ideas or provide harsh criticism don’t endear themselves to their employees. For bosses and other managers within a business, it’s important that they conduct themselves at a higher level of self-awareness. This means that when you go to have a conversation with employees, you should be empathetic with them and think, “Would I be upset if my boss said this to me?” Even if you don’t treat all employees disrespectfully, others will take note of your behavior and will also think ill of you.
- You only focus on shortcomings — If you continuously focus on the mistakes and shortcomings of your employees and never praise them for the excellent work they do, you can’t expect them to continue wanting to put forth their best effort. If you always chastise your employees about their work, it will only serve to lower morale in the workplace.
- You take all the credit — You act like the accomplishments of the team are yours alone to claim and are not due to the contributions of the whole team. When you take credit for all the work, you take away opportunities for your team members to be recognized by other departments and senior staff for their contributions to the company. Doing this will not only lower employee morale, but will also show them that you don’t value them as much as you value yourself. Give employees credit.
- You think you are the center of the universe — While it’s important to have good self-esteem and feel confident in your work and qualifications, if you believe that you’re better than everyone else that works for you, you will never gain their respect. If you want your employees’ support and loyalty, you need to treat those who work under you as a team. If you blame them for everything that goes wrong and don’t take a portion of the responsibility for the part you play, then you can’t expect your employees to have or want to have a good relationship with you.
- You don’t respect your employees’ time — For some jobs, working late during certain times of the year is a given. However, if you are needlessly asking your employees to put in long hours, this is not fair to them. They have a life to attend to after their work hours. Depriving them of the opportunity to be with their family will cause resentment on their part.
If you feel like your employees dislike or disrespect you, it’s time to do some self-reflection to determine where you might be falling short as a boss. Write down goals for areas you want to improve in, then make an effort to change. If you feel your employees are doubtful or unreceptive to your changes, don’t give up. Be patient with yourself and understand that change may take a little while. Making the effort to be a good leader will help you become a better boss and all-around person for life.