Eight signs you're a bad boss

businesswoman puzzled and baffled at her male colleagues behavior.
Photo credit: Getty

Not many things can make work more miserable than having an awful boss.

And while there isn't a definitive list of ways management can go wrong, experts at one of the world's biggest recruitment agencies have compiled a list of the most common mistakes.

"A bad boss can have an immediate impact on a company through lower productivity, poor morale and higher staff turnover," Robert Half New Zealand general manager Megan Alexander explains.

Here are eight common traits of being a bad boss, according to Robert Half:

1. Inability to communicate

Bosses must communicate effectively while giving instructions, sharing praise, setting deadlines or announcing news. Without this quality, employees may be less likely to follow instructions.

"Communication is a two-way street," Ms Alexander adds.

"As a boss, you'll also be the first port of call for employees who have problems, so you need to be sensitive, empathetic and understanding."

2. Hide behind a veil of secrecy

While there will be instances when information needs to be kept private, if a boss is not transparent it will be difficult to earn a team's trust and respect.

"Keep your staff informed as to what is going on in the company, both within your team and the organisation," Ms Alexander says.

"It reduces the likelihood of rumours spreading."

A boss hiding behind a veil of secrecy.
A boss hiding behind a veil of secrecy. Photo credit: Getty

3. Make inconsistent decisions

If a boss responds in a different way each time a same situation arises, employees will struggle to take them seriously.

"If you do make any decisions that are out of the usual, explain to your team why you have made that choice."

4. Make unreasonable demands

A bad boss may expect employees to come into the office early, stay late, work through their lunch hour, or cancel their annual leave at short notice.

This could sour relations and make it difficult to maximise productivity going forward.

"You should avoid asking your employees to do anything you wouldn't be prepared to do yourself.

"Whilst unreasonable demands may come from even higher powers, as a good boss, try to push back and encourage more realistic expectations."

This man appears to have a stressful workload.
This man appears to have a stressful workload. Photo credit: Getty

5. Micro-manage everything

"You need to give [employees] autonomy in the workplace, especially if you're the kind of leader who believes in fostering their career development," Ms Alexander says.

"If you're not confident in their ability to do the job to the required standard, then delegate the work to another team member, or invest in training."

Two bosses watch over a stressed employee.
Two bosses watch over a stressed employee. Photo credit: Getty

6. Take the credit and pass the buck

A bad boss will take all the credit when things go well for their team, but deflect criticism onto others when results are less positive.

"Make sure you give credit where credit is due and keep people motivated when things don't work out as planned," Ms Alexander says.

7. Pick favourites

A bad boss will pick favourites and treat some team members differently in the workplace.

"Favouritism is one of the quickest and easiest ways to undermine your own authority."

A group of friends at the workplace.
A group of friends at the workplace. Photo credit: Getty

8. Shout to get heard

As a boss, not everything will always go your way. When this happens, it is important not to snap at employees, or storm out of the office.

A boss also shouldn't shout to ensure everyone hears their opinion.

Ms Alexander says expressing views in a "clear, controlled, effective and professional manner" is key.

A boss stands on a chair and yells.
A boss stands on a chair and yells. Photo credit: Getty

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