Most managers don't set out with the intention to make their employees despise them, but, about 50% of adults surveyed by Gallup have left a job to get away from their manager. Unfortunately, that means there’s a 50-50 chance that your employees could choose to leave their job and your company because of, well, you.
What’s the source of all that frustration? Many of those employees surveyed said that their managers didn’t provide guidance, help them set goals or manage priorities, or establish clear expectations. Your employees may be feeling the same way and harboring a boat-load of resentment if they exhibit any of the following signs:
1. You’re more likely to make eye contact with the photo behind their head than with them when talking.
2. They'd walk up 14 flights of stairs rather than endure an elevator ride with you.
3. You didn't realize that a single person could have that many family health issues in one year (or that someone could have so many close third cousins).
4. You can’t remember the last time they smiled.
5. Your presence in the room stifles any conversation or laughter.
6. You hear about last night’s team happy hour by eavesdropping from a bathroom stall.
7. They’ve become monosyllabic and respond to questions with the shortest possible answer.
8. You've forgotten the sound of their voice because all communication comes via email.
9. They disagree with you, even about the most basic details.
10. When you ask for participation in meetings, you hear crickets.
All of these behaviors stem from the same place: fear and distrust. If your team doesn't trust you or are scared of you, they won't be honest or speak up. If they don't contribute openly, you're missing out on new ideas and ultimately the ability to be competitive. The reality is that if your employees are acting in this way they don't view you as an Awesome Boss, but rather a boss-hole.
Now, this may not necessarily be 100% your fault. It's likely that you were promoted to become a manager because of your success in a previous non-managerial role. It’s not uncommon for people who were rewarded for great achievements in individual contributor roles to think that leading others takes the same skills and tactics. Often, companies don’t take this into account and also don’t provide management training.
On average, companies with fewer than 100 employees provided only 12 minutes of manager training every six months, and that decreases to six minutes for organizations with 100-500 employees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
So, if your company isn’t providing the training you need, then it’s time to seek it out for yourself.
If you want to be known as a strong leader, take a time out and think about the result you want. Your role as a manager is to inspire others, and people are inspired by those who lead by example and who are authentic. If you don't know how to do this and don't feel like you've received the training you need, we can help. We've created a handy checklist of the types of behaviors you can emulate to change your reputation from boss-hole to Awesome Boss. Click here to get your very own copy to print out and use to improve your management skills.
By changing your boss behaviors, you can improve your team's engagement and your company. Compared with disengaged teams, engaged teams show 24% to 59% less turnover, 10% higher customer ratings, 21% greater profitability, 17% higher productivity, 28% less shrinkage, 70% fewer safety incidents, and 41% less absenteeism. And, as a bonus, your employees will stop avoiding you and might even invite you to join in for an after-work drink.