A Signs.com survey of more than 800 U.S. employees recently revealed behaviors bad bosses exhibit that employees hate the most, according to Inc.
Respondents answered questions about office etiquette and workplace behavior and ranked the 10 worst boss behaviors they had encountered. Although some of the behaviors mentioned could potentially cause legal trouble for a company—such as a boss putting personal items on his or her business expense account—others were easy mistakes leaders make when they are not aware of how their comments or actions may be perceived by employees.
Inc. shares the top three behaviors that fall into the easy mistake category and how to avoid them.
- Playing favorites. This was the No. 1 complaint, cited by 82% of male respondents and 92% of female respondents. Favoritism can be a matter of perception, so being transparent is crucial. For example, if you assign a big project to a certain employee because he or she has a relevant background, make that clear.
- Making informal threats to fire employees. If you shout threats during stressful situations and do not intend them to be taken seriously, be aware that people hearing such threats will view them as real. When you are considering terminating an employee, it is important you follow a planned process, such as warning the employee verbally and in writing, letting the employee know the reason for impending termination and offering an opportunity to correct the problem. It all should take place during calm conversations in your office with one other person as a witness, such as someone from human resources.
- Mentioning poor work performance in front of other employees. Instead of calling out an employee’s errors in front of others or failing to consider how your criticism will sound to the person hearing it, be thoughtful when giving feedback and ensure you are providing it without an audience.