Inspired by Liz Ryan’s recent Business Week article “10 Management Practices to Axe”, I’ve come up with my own list of 5 ridiculous bad boss behaviors I’ve personally encountered, that should die a quick and painful death.
1. Not communicating effectively – O.k., so we know we can’t be trusted with the confidential, top secret, magical corporate plans, but if the entire office is abuzz about something that everyone suspects is about to take place, the responsible thing to do is to have a conversation with your employees – one that involves some semblance of the truth. I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve sat in with top management reassuring everyone that their jobs were safe, only to watch the very same management team drop kick key players just days after the declaration. We’re not saying you’ve got to let us in on the secret family recipe, but not talking at all, or talking but lying for that matter, fosters an environment of paranoia and mistrust.
2. Employing ‘Big Brother’ tactics – If you do a good job in the recruitment and hiring process, why watch your employees like a hawk? Excessive time checking, micromanaging and spying on employees actually reduces productivity in the long run. Employees that feel they can’t be trusted to do their jobs turn into employees that can’t be trusted to do their jobs.
3. Different rules for the rest of us – If workers are required to get to work on time and aren’t allowed to spend the day shopping on Ebay, poking people on Facebook and tweeting tweople on Twitter, then management shouldn’t be doing it either. Allowing two sets of rules fosters resentment and places an even greater wedge between bosses and employees. Yes, many managers have earned the right to some perks, but a lack of productivity shouldn’t be one of them.
4. The blame game – From the largest of organizations to small family owned businesses, I’ve seen it all too often. Something goes wrong, sometimes drastically wrong, and management is all too ready to blame the little guy, often reverting to lying in the process. A leader who won’t or can’t take responsibility for his own actions or the actions of his or her team is no leader.
5. Failing to recognize and reward a job well done – I once single handedly completed a project that resulted in our division winning its first award ever. Not even as she pushed me aside to run on stage to receive the award did my boss acknowledge the work I’d put into the project. Instead, she ran on stage, grabbed the trophy and promptly placed it on the shelf in her office upon her return. The quickest way to ensure an employee stops giving 110% is failing to acknowledge that they have.
What other bad boss behaviors should die a quick and painful death? Share your thoughts in the comment section.