7 Things Bosses Do That Employees Absolutely Hate

The most common cause for employees quitting an organisation is being stuck with a poor manager. Check out these 7 things that bosses do that employees despise

7 Things Bosses Do That Employees Absolutely Hate

Are you a manager that fears that your team has created a separate group chat to snitch on you?

Leading a team effectively and obtaining an equilibrium of people can sometimes be like a tug of war in your head. You want people to take you seriously but also want an image of someone who they can easily approach and that is quite a tough act.

A strong 50% of respondents in a study by Gallup revealed that a bad manager can be a reason for them to quit the job.

Now that is some serious pressure for you as a boss!

You can’t really go around asking people if you’re a good boss, no one is going to straight up tell you how much of a pain you are, especially when they want the job or a promotion!

Well frequent workplace surveys can help? I think not.

Bad news, but 26% of employees blatantly lie on those questionnaires, especially when asked to critique!

So how else can you figure out if your employees like you?

Inspect in yourself for these things that bosses do that employees absolutely hate:

Acting Like They Don’t Have lives

Yes, as a boss you’ve higher authority but being ignorant is definitely the worst mistake you can do!

Do not casually arrive 15 minutes late for the meeting, it's one of the biggest mistakes you can do especially during work from home or remote work. (Check out 7 common mistakes you do during remote work and how to avoid them) Do not ignore their emails or calls, do not call them up at late hours and please do not keep them hanging when you’ve scheduled for a call.

Respecting their life is critical, a study by Flexjobs revealed that about 36% respondents said their bosses aren’t good models of a healthy work-life balance.

If you are running late or are for any reason unable to attend a call, drop them a message and let them know, ghosting them can make them feel undervalued, insulted and depict you as discourteous.


A Forbes writer Eric Jackson found that numerous bosses excuse their micromanagement style by claiming that they like to pay attention to details.

But let me tell you, over-controlling and nitpicking your employees will without a doubt make them hate you! No-one appreciates a boss constantly looking over your shoulder or correcting miniscule changes of your work, in fact it’s quite annoying! It shows you don’t trust them enough and that can suppress creativity and confidence.

Nicholas Hobson, Workplace Psychologist & co-founder of PsychologyCompass.com stated: “Bad managers fail to give their team personal independence. They over-delegate and over-assign. Employees who feel they don’t have freedom will become disillusioned and frustrated.”

Not Leading By Example

The best way to mess with the employee’s morale is by practicing the “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. Laying off 100 employees claiming it to be for the need of cost-cutting but giving yourself a hefty bonus. Or requesting everyone to work overtime but leaving the office by 4pm for your child’s match is nothing but pure hypocrisy and double standards.

When a leader does not practice what he/she preaches, motivation, productivity, collaboration goes right down the drain. Remember no-one trusts a leader that talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk.

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

Picking Favourites

Favouritism towards certain employees is the winner when it comes to what bothers employees most. The study by Gallup had 82% men and 92% women voting “playing favourites” as the most unacceptable manager behaviour.

It’s okay to be connected to particular members of the team, perhaps because of the shared culture, language or work ethic. However, letting that come in the way of treating them differently, promoting them, giving more weight to their ideas is a little too far.

Other members might feel discriminated, unrecognised and even unmotivated to work better especially if you favour your favourite always. Bid farewell to team productivity if you practice favouritism!

Turning Deaf To Their Ideas/Complaints

Do you overreact, snap or disagree before the information has been fully conveyed? Congratulations, you’re a toxic boss who doesn’t respect others and their views. Dismissing their ideas without adequate consideration will lead to them taking up an initiative to do so in the future.

“A manager with poor listening skills has no chance of having a productive and effective team.”

-Cynthia Corsetti, Executive Leadership Coach at Cynthia Corsetti Coaching, LLC

Acknowledging and hearing their voice will make them feel valued, allow for better communication, motivate them, augment motivation, morale and ultimately boost work performance. Inability to listen and respond to feedback is a loss for you, your team and customers are your richest source of information, so don’t be a douche and hear them out!

Taking Credit Of Their Ideas Or Work

Don’t we all hate when you suggest an idea and your boss puts it forward with the slightest tweaks and gets all the claps and brownie points?

Yes, don’t be that boss. If your employees come up with an idea that you yourself didn’t think off, praise them. Taking away the credit and in-turn blaming them when the sales numbers are low is a sign of a bad manager and will exterminate trust and motivation. In the same Gallup study, 77% men and 85% women ticked “taking credit for other employees work” as the most unacceptable manager behaviours.

“There’s nothing worse than working for a manager that’s willing and happy to claim any big wins the team achieves, but deflects responsibility when times are tough and losses come around”

-Kris Hughes, Senior Content Marketing Manager at ProjectManager.com

Publicly Picking On Employees

Obviously it is integral to inform an employee when the work isn’t up to the mark, but maybe doing so on a video call with 20 other members of the team who are listening isn’t quite ideal!

Passing just negative feedback, humiliating, intimidating, belittling employees is bully behaviour and can mess with their self confidence and esteem.

Research from University of Phoenix proves a staggering 75% employees have been affected by workplace bullying.

The best way to deal with tough conversations is to approach them individually and let them know about their mistakes, give adequate feedback on how they can improve. Avoid ridiculing and criticising their work in whatever chance you get to heighten engagement, productivity and motivation and avoid high employee turnover and absenteeism.

Keeping these little things in mind can make a huge difference in how your employees perceive you. Remember, if they like you, they’ll feel empowered, and empowered employees have the ability to turn the tables or should i say swing around the figures on your balance sheet.

“A company is stronger if it is bound by love rather than by fear.”

-Herb Kelleher

Add “being a likeable boss” to your to-do list right now and get cracking on working towards it!