Are You A Bad Boss?

October 4, 2018 10:29 AM

You wear many hats. You are your farm’s owner, manager, leader and spokesperson. You’re also the boss. Are you the boss your operation and team deserve? Are you avoiding common bad behaviors that make people bad bosses?

Bad bosses can be a major contributor to employee turnover. BambooHR, a human resources software company, polled more than 1,000 U.S.-based employees in March 2017. The survey found 44% of employees said a boss has been the primary reason they have a left a job.

What are the characteristics of a bad boss? Here’s what the survey found.

Top 10 Bad Boss Behaviors:

  1. Takes credit for your work
  2. Doesn’t appear to trust or empower you
  3. Doesn’t appear to care if you're overworked
  4. Doesn’t appear to advocate for you when it comes to monetary compensation
  5. Hires and/or promotes the wrong people
  6. Doesn’t back you up when there’s a dispute between you and one of your company’s clients
  7. Doesn’t provide proper direction on assignments/roles
  8. Micromanages you and doesn’t allow you the “freedom to work”
  9. Focuses more on your weaknesses than your strengths
  10. Doesn’t set clear expectations

The study also identified the top five boss characteristics that make employees leave their jobs. They are:

  • 37%: management style
  • 30%: condescending attitude
  • 30%: mean or had a bad temper
  • 26%: inappropriate behavior
  • 24%: harassed employees


“Employees need mutual trust and respect,” says Cassie Whitlock, director of human resources at BambooHR and a 20-year veteran of human resources.

Whitlock says bosses need to exercise emotional intelligence, which is a popular human resources concept that gauges your ability to understand and respond to the emotions of others. She suggests the following behaviors and traits for bosses.

Self-Aware: Make decisions independently and don’t blame other people for challenges.

Self-Regulation: Think of the future and the importance of continuing relationships and keeping trust.

Motivation: Showcase a passion for work that goes beyond money and status. In other words, recognize the full value of employer and employee.

Appropriate Empathy: Acknowledge your employees’ point of view and look for win-win scenarios.

Social Skills: Manage relationships with low miscommunication. When in doubt—overcommunicate.

Download the Bad Boss Index survey summary and infographic from BambooHR.


Bad Boss Infographic

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