When it comes to recruiting and retaining employees, bad bosses are many companies’ biggest obstacle. Another problem: Bad bosses often don’t realize what they’re doing.
It all comes down to respect. When managers respect employees, employees will respect managers. And that creates a productive workforce that will stick around.
Here are the most common ways bosses unconsciously sabotage that mutual respect — and how HR can help them change:
1. Blaming others instead of taking responsibility
It’s obviously trouble for a supervisor to blame a subordinate when something goes wrong instead of taking the fall. But some managers get around that by pointing the finger at other departments, suppliers or higher-ups. And that can look just as bad to employees.
2. Refusing to make timely decisions
Managers never want to take action hastily. But some bosses think they appear thoughtful and deliberate, while staffers just see them as hesitant and wishy-washy.
Employees want leaders who take action, not bosses who drag their feet.
3. Being untrustworthy
Managers can’t keep everything employees tell them confidential (for example, if there’s a harassment case involved). But especially these days, staffers might come to bosses with sensitive topics, such as personal financial woes.
Once a manager relays those discussions to a colleague, you can bet word will get around — and the boss could permanently lose every staffer’s trust. It’s up to the supervisor to know what’s to be kept under wraps.
4.Accepting free passes
If there’s one thing employees hate, it’s double standards. For example, when they screw up, there are consequences — but too often, when bosses make mistakes, nothing happens.
Not that it’s anyone’s businesses what goes on in someone else’s personnel file. But when managers drop the ball, they need to make it clear to subordinates that they aren’t getting a free pass just because they’re higher up in the organization.
5. Hogging credit
Too many managers rely on scheduled events to tell staffers how much they appreciate their efforts. But to truly share the credit, bosses need to make it a point to talk frequently about employees’ accomplishments, both in public and one-on-one with the employee.