Are Your Employees Underperforming or Are You a Bad Boss?

There are many reasons an employee may be underperforming. Perhaps they are slacking for one reason or another — or perhaps you’re a bad boss.

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questions to determine if you're a bad boss

As the saying goes, “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” In fact, it’s reported that employees with managers that respect their work and ideas are 32 percent less likely to jump ship. Employees are more inclined to stay put when they trust leadership and get along with supervisors. If your employees are underperforming, take a step back and reflect. Is their performance the result of laziness and poor work ethic or a sign of a bad boss?

Your management style can make or break a company. Great managers analyze their leadership style before pointing fingers. If your team’s performance is lacking, you might be the problem.

5 Signs You Might Be a Bad Boss

1. You fail to give recognition

41 percent of employees cited a lack of recognition as a significant factor in their decision to leave their company. “We are, after all, social beings with the need for soft skills such as encouragement, appreciation, and achievement. If a boss denies these fundamental needs — even if the financial rewards are great — most employees will be quick to look elsewhere,” says Vlatka Hlupic, Professor of Business and Management at Westminster University.

If you can’t remember the last time you gave your employees kudos for a job well done, they could start viewing you as a bad boss. Make a greater effort to recognize stellar performance.

2. You’re always butting heads

It’s no secret that employees want to get along with their boss. A recent survey found that 74 percent of staff members said a good relationship with their boss improved job satisfaction. If you find yourself butting heads with your team on several occasions, try to find common ground with your staff.

3. You don’t care about culture

Culture isn’t just a buzzword. Studies show that employees who don’t get along with their peers are 10 percent less likely to stay with the company long-term. As the boss, it’s your responsibility to create an environment that employees enjoy. If your team likes one another and works well together, they’ll enjoy coming to work.

Creating a positive workplace culture starts by hiring people with similar values and passion for the company’s mission. Make sure your people understand the “why” behind their roles, so they know the impact of their contributions.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to set aside some time for fun. Plan an office ski trip or an after work cookout. Give employees the chance to bond and show them that you care about their well-being.

4. You’re not encouraging professional growth

Professional growth opportunities are important to team members. If they feel stagnant, they’ll get bored and leave. Great managers are always teaching their team’s new skills to help them advance their careers.

Are you helping your people move up in the company? Get to know each employee and their goals and create opportunities for them to develop their skills. When staff members know that you care about their success, they’ll always put forth their best effort.

5. You’re always right

A bad boss doesn’t know how to admit when they are wrong. Lynn Taylor Consulting found that 91 percent of employees said that owning up to mistakes played an important role in job satisfaction. Recognizing when you’re wrong allows your team to feel comfortable expressing ideas and making decisions. A great boss is quick to acknowledge their mistakes.

How to improve your people management skills

If any of the above signs describe you, don’t worry. Acknowledging these faults is the first step to becoming a better manager. Improve your leadership skills with these tips.

Always be transparent. As we mentioned earlier, employees experience greater job satisfaction when their boss is honest and transparent. Encourage an open communication policy and keep your employees in the loop whenever possible.

Be thankful. Where would you be without your team? You can’t run a business without talented staff. Show your appreciation for your team’s hard work. Rewards like a free lunch or extra vacation day go a long way.

Take responsibility. As a manager, many business matters fall on you. It’s your responsibility to make things right for the success of the company. Don’t place blame or throw others under the bus or you’ll lose their respect.

Don’t micromanage. Empowering your people to perform is the best way to earn trust. Employees need the freedom to take the reins without their boss looking over their shoulder. Lead with confidence to help foster a more autonomous workplace.

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