18 Signs That You’re A Bad Boss


Do you worry that you could be a bad boss but you’re not entirely sure why or what to do about it? Most bosses likely have qualities that they can improve on, but many don’t take the time to actually look into what they can do about it. This alone makes them a bad boss, as great bosses should always look to examine their strengths and weaknesses and improve where possible. The fact that you’re trying to improve is great, so use that as motivation to push on. The signs below will indicate that you could be a bad boss. Take a look and figure out what you can do to be better! 

1. You Have A High Employee Turnover

Do your employees leave regularly? Do you find yourself having to look for new team members and train them up more often than you would like? This could be a sign that you’re a bad boss. Satisfied, engaged team members will stay with your business for longer. If your team feels disengaged, unappreciated, and don’t like the workplace for a plethora of other reasons, they are going to want to get out of the toxic environment as quickly as possible. 

2. You Have Disdain For Staff Members

Do you know your staff members at all, or do you think they are all idiots who need to buck their ideas up? Perhaps you don’t feel that extremely about them, but maybe you simply don’t know them and don’t care to get to know them. When you simply don’t care about your staff like this, it shows. A great boss gets to know members of their team and wants to help them. You can’t sit in your office cursing them when they are working hard for you! 

3. You Lose Your Temper 

Shouting and being aggressive towards your staff is always going to make you look like an immature child that cannot hold their emotions. Staff will lose respect for you and they certainly won’t want to share any great ideas with you. Pretty soon, they will plan to leave. It’s plain embarrassing when you bawl and shout in the workplace! Even if you need to speak to a staff member about inappropriate behaviour, you don’t need to shout. If you feel like you can’t do that, it could be time to take a training course on how to deal with your emotions. Lose your temper in private, not in front of your team. 

4. You’re Not Open To Doing Things Differently

Perhaps it’s your way or no way? Listening to your staff can go a long way to improving your current processes and making them happier. Asking them for their opinion is not only a great way to get ideas and advice, it shows them that you actually care about what they think and value their ideas. Being open to doing things differently is a must for any great boss. Your ideas are not necessarily the best ideas! 

5. You Can’t Remember When You Last Thanked Or Rewarded Your Staff 

When was the last time you properly thanked or rewarded your staff? Verbal praise can go a long way, but so can a tray of donuts or a special lunch. Bonuses and vouchers are always appreciated too. If you expect your staff to come into work and put their all in for the bare minimum from you, they are going to get tired of this pretty quickly. 

6. You Don’t Do Performance Reviews

92% of engaged employees have somebody to talk to about their progress. If you don’t tell them what you believe they are doing right and how you think they could progress, they are going to feel in the dark, and slowly, their satisfaction levels will drop. You need to find a way to do performance reviews, but you need to do them properly. Getting them wrong could be just as bad as not doing them at all! 

7. You Bring The Team Down With Your Negativity

You might call it being ‘realistic’, but are you actually a negative person in disguise? There’s no need to bring negativity and pessimism into the workplace every day. You don’t need to be a super positive Pollyanna that looks on the brightside constantly, as toxic positivity is also a thing. However, you need to find the right line. 

8. You’re Not Investing In Training 

Making sure you invest in employee training is crucial to making sure they can do their job to the best of their abilities. Not only that, if you invest in training that they actually want to do, it shows them that you care very much about their progress and future. You could look into Learning Management System consulting, to start with. Make a list of training programs that could improve your company and work through them. 

9. You Don’t Want To Know About Employee Aspirations 

Getting to know your employees allows you to appreciate them on a personal level. Use this as a way to get to know about their dreams and aspirations, and don’t be offended if you learn that they don’t want to work for you forever. Many people have bigger dreams and goals and just don’t know how to reach them. You could actually help them by giving them advice, providing training, and allowing them a little free time each day to work on a personal project. The happiness of employees that are allowed this is through the roof! 

10. You Have A Favorite

You should never have a favorite, or multiple favorites in the workplace. You can’t let it be known if you do! Everybody should be treated equally. Never compare employees with one another in an attempt to get them to improve. 

11. You Make Promises You Can’t Keep

Breaking promises is one of the worst things a boss can do. If you make a promise, you have to do your everything to keep it. Breaking promises sends a clear message to your employees that you do not care about them. 

12. You Don’t Encourage Feedback From Employees 

If you truly want to improve, you should encourage feedback. Your employees likely have a lot to say about their jobs and the things they believe could improve, so ask them. Anonymous is usually best, otherwise they may not be honest about what’s going on. Show them you care about their opinions and want them to be happy. 

13. You’re Inconsistent

Inconsistency is another clear sign of a bad boss. You need to be consistent in everything you do so your team knows what to expect from you. 

14. You Don’t Respect Personal Time

You absolutely need to respect the personal time of your employees. Your business might be your whole life, but they have families, hobbies, friends, and other things going on. You should not be contacting employees outside of working hours. The last thing they want to do after a long day is think about the next difficult thing you’re asking them to do. If you expect them to put in time on the weekends when it should be their free time, then you’re likely a bad boss. 

15. You Aren’t Building A Diverse, Inclusive Team

Do you make an effort to build a diverse, inclusive team? Having a team full of people with different experience, backgrounds, and knowledge will ensure that you have a strong team. Hiring people of similar backgrounds and with similar experience will give you more of the same. How can your business innovate and improve if that’s what you’re doing? It could be time to examine your unconscious biases and ensure you’re actually hiring the right people for the job, rather than the people you like. 

16. You Don’t Apologize For Your Mistakes 

Knowing how to apologize to your team when you have made a mistake will go a long way. You can’t shirk the blame, or just expect them to know that you are sorry. You might be embarrassed, but that’s no excuse. Let them know that you know you were wrong and apologise properly. You are only human, but they will stop seeing you as one if you think you are above saying sorry to them. 

17. You Think You Need To Micromanage Your Team

Your team will be a lot smarter than you give them credit for. They are more than capable of managing their own workload and knowing how to plan out their day. They can even have a conversation and catch up with work friends while doing so. You don’t need to ban them from talking or hover over them to make sure they are doing things right. If anything, this will make them want to get out of there as fast as possible. 

18. You Don’t Acknowledge Your Team’s Hard Work 

Acknowledge your team’s hard work and not just the hard work of a manager. Don’t take the credit for their hard work either! Find a way to praise them individually and as a group, and reward them. Verbal acknowledgements go a long way, but you should go the extra mile. 

(Cover Image Source: Pexels)


About Author

Larry is the father of 5 wonderful kids. He has his normal "offline" job but has also been running an online business for over 15 years. When he is not working on websites or blogging, he enjoys video gaming and watching sports.

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