The boss- employee relationship is a very complex one. It is true when people say that employees don’t leave organizations, they leave their bosses instead. This just goes to show that working for a bad boss can be quite detrimental to one’s mental health. Whether a boss is a good one or a bad one, their impact on an employee can be felt in many ways.
Some bad bosses may make it very obvious that they feel threatened by an employee, whereas many others may show it in a very subtle manner that is hard to identify at first.
If you feel that your boss is behaving unfairly towards you, don’t brush it off as a minor issue- it could be a sign that he or she feels threatened by you:
Always Fault Finding
This is particularly hard to notice at first because a bad boss is likely to claim that he has your best interests at heart, whenever he points out a mistake. Pointing out errors or calling out a bad decision is important for a boss to do, but it is how he does it that matters. A good boss will call an employee privately to his cabin and discuss any concerns openly.
A bad boss, on the other hand, uses every chance he can get to belittle an employee especially in front of other team members. A small incident may be blown up into a very big issue and the constant fault finding could make an employee think that he is quite useless.
Doesn’t Care About Work-Home Life Balance
A good boss knows that an employee who is happy at home will have high productivity at work. This is why many organizations are happy to give employees access to extra perks such as nanny privileges, home cleaning agencies, well-being sessions and the like. A bad boss on the other hand is not bothered about an employee’s work and home life balance at all. This could surface is different ways.
For example, the boss may give an employee an impossible deadline to meet or expect that an employee stay back after working hours to do additional tasks for him personally. In case, an employee is unable to fulfil the boss’s demands, he or she is called out for being highly incompetent.
Leaves You Out Of Team Activities
A good boss takes the time to ensure that his team members know that any achievement is never the outcome of one individual- rather it is the effort of many individuals put together. This is why many organizations budget for team building activities and workshops.
A bad boss on the other hand, does his best to single out those employees he feels most threatened by. It is usually one employee vs the rest of the team which leads to a huge feeling of loneliness. This usually means that the boss is very clear that he doesn’t think of the said employee as being a part of the team anyways!
The Assigned Job Role Isn’t What You Interviewed For
A good boss invests in his employees for the long run and ensures that they are happy where they are. Studies conducted on employee behaviour has shown time and again that salary is not the number one priority for employees- rather it’s what they get to learn on the job and who they report to that matter the most.
A bad boss is one who knows that an employee has higher qualifications and abilities to take on more responsibilities, but holds them back on purpose. Access to projects or assignments which could justify an employee’s potential is often held back. This eventually leads to a build-up of frustration on the part of the employee and in time, he will quit.
Gives You Only Individual Tasks
One of the biggest signals of boss insecurity is when an employee is given tasks that require him to complete them by himself instead of working with a partner or in a team. A good boss knows that team work helps to build better rapport among the team members, increases confidence and gives better results too.
A bad boss, on the other hand, prefers to give employees he feels most threatened by, tasks which keep them apart from the team. Such employees may not even be invited to meetings because they aren’t considered important and may never get the chance to work alongside members of the same team.
Your Opinions Don’t Matter
The best business leaders in the world always acknowledge that the next great idea can come from anyone at the workplace and not necessarily from management. A good boss always listens to feedback from his team members even if the final decision to implement it or not rests with him.
A bad boss however is never in the mood to listen to a valuable opinion or a genuine grievance. If an employee he dislikes approaches him with feedback that could benefit the organization, his ego is likely to play up first. It’s possible that he may downplay the seriousness of the grievance or mock the employee for trying to address it in the first place.
Doesn’t Give You Serious Feedback
A good employee who is serious about climbing the corporate ladder won’t hesitate to discuss areas of improvement with his boss. A good boss of course, would only be happy to discuss an employee’s performance.
On the other hand, a bad boss is never serious about giving an employee feedback about his work. It is possible that if an employee who is having a hard time at work tries to bring up the topic with an unfriendly boss, he or she will not get any answers. A boss who openly shows that he is threatened by an employee prefers to walk away from an honest discussion than actually participate in one.