Office life can be stressful: employees are routinely asked to take on heavy workloads, work longer hours and take pay cuts. In some cases, a bad boss can add even more stress to the situation by stifling employee motivation and hurting the overall morale. Here are a few ways to recognize if you've got a bad boss, and a couple tips to deal with the problem while remaining sane and employed.
One characteristic of a bad boss is micromanagement. Employees don't like to work with someone breathing over their shoulder, criticizing their every move. That's exactly what a micromanaging bad boss does: he constantly reviews and critiques his employees' work at every step of the completion process, eventually causing employees to lose motivation.
A stubborn temperament is another characteristic of a horrible boss. This type of boss always thinks he has the answers and is resistant to change and new ideas from other people. This is detrimental to a company's growth, because it stifles creativity and innovation in the workplace. New, fresh ideas are essential to improving workflow, and a good leader isn't afraid to hear other opinions and ideas.
Practicing favoritism is a common tactic of bad bosses. While it's certainly reasonable to make friends, a bad boss may take things too far, favoring one employee for a promotion or raise just because of their personal relationship. This breeds resentment and jealousy in the workplace.
A bad boss can be a blame-shifter. A blame-shifter is a person who either makes excuses for poor performance or finds a way to point the finger at someone else when he is really at fault. By contrast, a good manager takes responsibility for his actions and takes necessary steps to correct any mistakes.
One of the worst types of bad bosses is the boss who intimidates his subordinates. While these bosses are rare, they can make office life insufferable. A boss who threatens employees with disciplinary action or other consequences has no place in the modern workplace.
If your supervisor exhibits more than a few of these traits, you may be dealing with a bad boss. There are a few ways to deal with him professionally while protecting your job and your reputation. First, avoid confrontations. Arguing with your boss is never an effective solution, even if your boss is in the wrong. Calmly and politely ask for clarification, and if your boss becomes unreasonable in front of other people, consider that as a case-builder to take to human resources or to your boss' superior. Also, constantly focus your energy on being a solid, dependable worker. Come in on time, strive for perfect attendance, stay organized and finish tasks in a timely manner. Don't allow a strained relationship with your boss to tarnish your reputation as a reliable and effective employee.
In today's competitive job market, it's important not to jump ship without another job lined up just because you have to deal with a horrible boss. Before making any rash decisions, be sure you've done everything in your power to communicate with your bad boss and shine as a stellar employee. If there is no improvement after a few months, consider exploring other options.
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