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Top 5 Reasons Why Employees Hate Their Bosses (And What Bosses Can Do About It)

Aug 18, 2007
Every boss can't be loved by every employee. But that doesn't mean that every boss needs to be Michael Scott from NBC's The Office. Thus, in order to minimize resentment, a good boss should understand some of more common reasons why employers hate their bosses so they can respond swiftly and effectively.

1. Employees need respect. One of greatest complaints that nearly every employee has about their boss is a perceived lack of respect. Most employees feel their bosses don't respect their privacy, their ability, and their personal lives (yes, employees have a life outside of work). As such, employers should go out of their way to show respect to each employee in the organization. Remember that respect tends to be reciprocated; as such, showing respect to employees is one of the most effective ways to win their respect and loyalty.

2. Employees dislike micromanagers and under-managers. A bad boss is like an overbearing parent. A good boss, by contrast, treats employers like adults - that means giving employees plenty of space and freedom to accomplish their work. Bosses should never spy and should strive to maintain privacy. In short: if your employees are good workers, don't micromanage. Just step back and let them do their thing. However, be careful to avoid the opposite of micromanagement - under-management. Under-managed employees receive little or no support (material, emotional, financial) from their bosses. While the lesser of two evils, inadequate support also leads to resentment as well as apathy on the part of employees. After all, if the boss doesn't care, why should I?

3. Employees, like bosses, don't think they're getting paid enough. Rare indeed are the organizations in which employees feel they're well paid. (It's probably human nature to feel under-appreciated.) Still, a good boss can help placate disgruntled workers by making the pay philosophy of the company clear and by finding other ways to compensate workers.

4. Employees tend to dislike meetings as a rule. Meetings are a necessary evil. That being said, employers can make them less annoying and less intrusive by planning meetings carefully, imposing strict time limits, making goals and action items clear, and by creating an environment where employees can voice their opinions openly without fear of retribution. It might even be helpful on occasions to seek feedback from employees as to how meetings could be made more effective.

5. Employees need to feel appreciated. When creativity or hard work is unappreciated, unacknowledged, or unrewarded, employees - just like everyone else - tend to feel resentment. In turn, resentment can lead to apathy. This is why it is crucial for bosses and managers to show they both see and appreciate the work being done. A little acknowledgment goes a long way - in fact, verbal affirmation can often be as rewarding for employees as a raise or a promotion. Well, almost.

To conclude, let me observe that most of the reasons that employees hate their bosses are not related to background, personality quirks, or other things beyond a boss's control. Rather, most - if not all - of these concerns could be assuaged if the boss would simply be aware of them and take steps to reduce their occurrence. Of course, that's easier said than done, mostly because there are a myriad of ways that employees annoy their bosses - but that's the subject for another day.
About the Author
Benjamin Welch has been a college instructor in writing and composition for nearly six years. When he's not teaching or playing golf, he offers career and education tools to help students explore career and
online education options.
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