News Article

Is this you? | 5 worst boss traits, ranked by employees

Posted 4th August 2020 • Written by •

Now more than in any other time in modern history, mastering delicate equilibrium between strong and dependable leadership and emotional intelligence is absolutely essential.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, leaders are relied upon not just to carve a roadmap for their businesses, but to react swiftly to the ongoing changes made necessary by lockdown measures, and to help employees strike a balance between wellbeing and productivity.

However, it seems that this balance is often not achieved. ONS data recently revealed that 77% of workers believe their company to suffer from a ‘leadership gap’. Whilst 83% of businesses believe developing the talents of managers is essential, only five per cent say that they have truly implemented leadership development training.

It’s unsurprising, then, that the majority of workers are actively disengaged from their leaders. But what traits are causing this divide? Well, a recent study from BambooHR of 1,000 UK-based employees ranked the key reasons – also discovering that 44% of those polled had actually quit a job due to irreconcilable disagreements of the actions of their leaders.

The top five factors that the study uncovered were:

Taking credit for their work – 63%

One of the key findings from the report is that often, bosses who feel like they have gaps in their own abilities will simply cover this up by taking credit for work carried out by others. Whilst this may keep them in their position, it swiftly creates disillusionment amongst the workforce, with those over the age of 45 more likely to quit as a result.

Lack of trust – 62%

Closely following taking credit for work is the presence of a lack of trust. The majority of respondents felt that their leaders had no trust in them and felt no empowerment to embrace their roles as a result. Essentially, employees need to feel trusted and respected to gain purpose in their roles – without which, productivity plummets.

Lack of compassion – 58% 

Over half of those polled felt that their boss didn’t care if they were overworked. When a bad boss is leading a team, this often creates masses of extra work for employees who end up picking up the slack. However, one of the most essential leadership traits is compassion – without which employees will inevitably get burned out.

Hiring/ promoting the wrong people – 56% 

Favouritism is one of the deadliest demotivators in the workplace. If a boss has no real engagement with their team, it’s likely they won’t have a clear picture of who is the most hard-working, or who deserves to be promoted. As a result, the wrong person is picked, further negatively impacting the team.

Always siding with clients – 55%

The old saying ‘the customer is always right’ is, in fact, wrong. Anyone who has worked with clients knows the pain of working with an arrogant and clueless customer. However, good leaders will ensure that if such a client is abusive to staff, they are either warned that this will not be tolerated or simply refused service. Sadly, many managers don’t understand the detrimental effects this can have on staff – instead simply thinking about the immediate financial ramifications. Refusing to work with one client now could well prevent the costly job of hiring for the positions of those who have left as a result of having to work with the aforementioned client in the long run.

What are the worst traits you’ve experienced in leaders? Let us know in the comments…

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