Free trial

How not to be a good boss (and be a great boss instead)

Simon Collins
Written by Simon Collins

75 percent of people who leave their job do so for reasons connected to their manager.

So, what can you do to ensure your employees love working for you?

Well, we’ve thought of a few things. From listening to their grievances, to giving employees the recognition they deserve, there are straightforward changes you can make today. And no, it isn’t rocket-science.

In this blog, discover how not to be a great boss, and what you can do about it.

1.      Micromanage everything

Autonomy is a key-driver for employee happiness because overbearing management is disempowering. Think about it: how would you feel to be treated like a robot and simply given instructions all the time?

Instead, empower your employees to make decisions and decentralise your business. Not only will it help your employees feel more relaxed and productive, it’ll free up your time and make your business more flexible.

‘Hire well – manage little,’ as Warren Buffet says.

2.      Never take the blame. Never apologise.

It might seem appealing to give the impression of a faultless leader, but in reality, no one is perfect. You are going to make mistakes just like the people you’re managing. And when you do, don’t sidestep blame and responsibility.

The worst thing you can do (a pro tip if you really want to be a terrible boss) is to blame others and the people you’re managing.

A real leader does the opposite. Take responsibility and apologise when you should.

3.      Ensure everyone has lots and lots of meetings

To be a boss that stinks, give everyone boring and useless meetings.

Meetings are a time-sink that a productive and effective business doesn’t indulge. Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, and Jeff Bezos all loathe meetings that go nowhere.

A good boss will keep meetings short, effective, and to-the-point. Below are some ways to achieve this:

  • Set the agenda and set the outcomes of the meeting.
  • Keep the number of participants to a minimum.
  • If someone isn’t providing value to the meeting, give them permission to leave.

New Call-to-action

4.      Think that some tasks are below you

You’re sure to cement your place as a terrible boss if you turn your nose up at certain tasks.

The best bosses lead by example, execute on tasks enthusiastically and, when needed to, get stuck in doing anything that needs doing.

That doesn’t mean you should try and do everything, or consistently complete work you can let employees handle. It’s important to prioritise the important. It does mean, however, that you don’t think you’re better than anyone or can perform a job more effectively.

5.      Be cruel and unfair

Now we’re talking. Why just be a bad boss, when you can be a tyrant? Be unfair and cruel in how you treat people, and you’ll be loathed by all.

To be a good boss, you must instead be kind and empathetic to your staff. Someone having a bad time in their personal life? Cut them a little slack. Bad weather preventing everyone from getting to work? Be understanding and adjust.

And if you’re still on the fence, it’s also good for business because people work harder for people they like.

6.      Hate your job (and make sure everyone knows it)

Emotions are contagious. So, if you make everyone aware of your contempt for your job, you’ll be sure to make them feel the same.

Now, it’s not like everyone loves their job all of the time. But if you aren’t enjoying your work, and want to be happier, here are some tips:

  • Talk to a career coach and apply their professional advice.
  • List the things you like about your job (there might be more than you realise).
  • Ask your friends what they see as your strengths and what role/s they think suit you.

7.      Pay badly, inconsistently, or not at all

Let’s be honest, getting paid is one of (if not the) main reason for having a job. If you compromise on employee pay, they will put you in their bad books.

A good boss will always pay their employees on time. And a good boss will pay their employees well.

That said, there are many motivators for an employee – some will be motivated by money more than others – so it’s helpful to also work out which of your employees is motivated most by money. You can then use this to motivate them to work harder and deliver more results for the business. Other employees might be motivated by other things, like perks, special projects, remote working, or something else.

The message is simple: give people what they value.

8.      Take your eye off the ball and be un-strategic.

A bad boss will not only make their employees unhappy in the short-term (as this article has covered thus far), they will also damage the longevity of both the business and employee relationships.

On the other hand, a good boss will do everything possible to keep the business strong and growing. The key is to deliver more value to customers and adapt to changes in the market (you’ll need a growth mindset to achieve this.)

Any boss who thinks things will always stay the same will lose at, whether it’s now or later on.

9.      Finally, ignoring software and technology

Software is necessary to remain competitive in the 21st century. And letting your employees do work that could be done by software will make your business less productive and competitive.

But, where do you start? The HR department is foundational to most businesses, but it can carry bloated processes that can be done away with by using software like Turbine.

Want to learn more about how software can cut down on paperwork? Read this guide.

Beginner's guide to workplace automation AB variant

Boss , team management , ways to succeed as a new manager

You might also like...