While it is safe to say that no one sets out to be a horrible boss, it seems that corporate America is overrun with them. Is it the fact that they are simply incompetent or are they just mean people? The answer is likely that they are simply as insecure as we all are, and they are terrified of losing their position in the corporate hierarchy. Let's take a look at just a few of the most common mistakes that bosses make each and every day.
Disrespect Your Employees
The American work place is made up of adults, and as much as we may all crave it, no one honestly expects to get a pat on the head and a genuine thank you from their boss at the end of every work day. However, the feeling of being disrespected at work is probably the worst thing any boss can do to any employee. It is clear that some employees are better than others, but going to a job every day where your contributions are ignored is akin to working in hell. You don't have to constantly reassure employees, but an occasional, and honest, thank you can do more for morale than any other single thing.
Being a boss means getting the most out of your people as often as you can. Morale is inexorably tied to performance. A happy employee is not only going to get more work done, they are going to do higher quality work, too. However, there are times when employees need to be corrected and reprimanded. The key to not being a bad boss is how you handle those situations. Treat your people like adults, even if what they have done is simply beyond the pale. It is better for your company to fire an incompetent employee and then hire and train a new one than for you to keep on a genuinely unhappy employee who is constantly making mistakes. Never belittle an employee, even if you're about to fire them. Word gets around a workplace fast and that can be disastrous for morale.
Make and Then Break Promises
Speaking of morale, other than being berated in front of your coworkers, nothing can sabotage morale faster than making and then breaking promises. Most promises made by management usually have to do with things like raises and promotions. Don't ever tell someone they are in line of a raise until you can announce it as a certainty. Most bosses don't go around and intentionally lie to employees, but sometimes, upper management changes their mind and when you have to go back to that employee and tell them their raise fell through, you might as well start looking for a replacement that day. The same goes for promises about assignments, projects or even promises about a new kind of coffee in the break room. Make sure you phrase things honestly. If you want to let your people know that something might happen, make sure you use the word might. A boss that people can't believe is a boss that people don't want to work for.
Mark Warner is a Legal Research Analyst for RealDealDocs.com. RealDealDocs gives you insider access to millions of legal documents online drafted by the top law firms in the US that you can download, edit and print. Search For Free at http://www.RealDealDocs.com