We all have stories about our own experiences with horrible bosses, but what is it that makes them bad leaders?

Horrible bosses aren’t horrible people, most of the time, they just lack certain skills themselves.

BambooHR asked 1,000 UK-based employees what traits horrible bosses had, here are the top 5.

  1. Taking credit for work they haven’t done in a bid to cover up for their own skill shortages
  2. Not being trusted, we often say why employee someone if you don’t trust them. Employees that don’t feel trusted to do a good job lack the motivation to want to.
  3. No compassion, over 50% of the people asked said they didn’t feel their bosses cared if they were overworked, bad leaders often creates more work!
  4. Hiring and promoting the wrong people. Be it bad recruitment decisions or favouritism in the team, not getting the right people in the right places has a negative effect on everyone in the team especially if there are some people who feel that whatever they do they will be overlooked.
  5. The customer isn’t always right (sharp intake of breath)! Good leaders will support their staff when dealing with clients behaving badly. Unfortunately, 55% of people said that their boss had sided with a client and not supported them when there was an issue.

Out of the 1000 people polled 44% admitted that they had left their job because of the behaviour of their boss, that’s an awful lot of people.

Other identified traits of horrible bosses by employees include poor communication skills, bad organisation, ruling by fear, lack of feedback, poop integrity, micromanaging, outbursts of anger and unrealistic expectations. Funnily enough if a leader has good communication skills it is highly unlikely that any of the others will be an issue anyway!

It’s important to remember that not everyone is made to be a leader skills (one report showed that 60% of new managers received no management training) but we can support new managers develop their skills or even help with refreshing the skills of more seasoned managers to make sure they don’t become horrible bosses.


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