I've worked with a lot of different leaders both as a trainer and consultant and I've noticed that many of them consistently do things to make their employees unhappy. None of these people are uncaring, unprofessional or evil in any way, they just don't know what else to do. It's as if they let things get out of hand one little step at a time until, one day, the car is driving off the cliff.
Very few leaders go to work with the intention of damaging their employees but there are an alarming number of workplaces where, if you asked employees, the boss would be less popular than a toothache. Here are ten things I've noticed leaders do that increase the chances their employees will hate them.
1. Never ask for feedback.
2. Never listen, just talk at people.
3. Tell people you're treating them poorly for their own good.
4. Don't allow people to complain or dissent in any way.
5. Make the workplace hyper-competitive instead of collaborative.
6. Hang out with pet employees and show favoritism.
7. Don't be consistent in your decision making.
8. Run around like everything is an emergency.
9. Micromanage a lot and give a lot of unsolicited advice.
10. Treat people like they don't know anything and you don't trust them.
Have you ever worked with someone like this? Think of what kind of workplace it created. A large percentage of workplaces actually run like this even if they have a veneer of civility. This is usually because we've let our organizations run out of control one small step at a time by forgetting that employees are really valuable and important. Try doing the opposite of these things and you'll find your employees will like you a lot more. You don't have to be perfect, just start changing the direction of your leadership one small step at time.
Have you ever hated a boss? Share your story.