Five Reasons Your Employees May Hate You

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So, you are pretty sure your employees love you. I mean, you’re not like other bosses. You talk to them

And really they're all thinking "This dude is my BOSS?"

And really they’re all thinking “This dude is my BOSS?”

about their personal lives. You’re the office confidante. You consider their input carefully over time. You’re awesome! Right? Hmm, well…I’m sorry, but there’s a good chance, based on that assessment, that you are driving your employees insane. They may not be planning a coup, but possibly a voodoo doll that resembles you has a few pins in it?   At least, here are five reasons employees often hate their bosses.

    1.   You Want to Know About Their Personal Lives: So, that might work great for some employees, they are happy to share the latest on their love life saga or the in-laws crazy holiday behavior but what about the person who really didn’t want to share the story of her mother’s breast cancer with you? First of all, she felt compelled. Otherwise you might call her cold or not adjusting to the team or some other thing that really has nothing to do with how well she does her job. Plus, she’s pretty sure the reason you never yell at that other employee for being late is because he tells you every gruesome, titillating detail of his life and that’s apparently the way to get ahead with you.

2.   You Are the Office Confidante: Everybody trusts you! Except really, nobody trusts you. Because while Sheila knows you told her about Brad’s affair with the other supervisor “in strictest confidence because you were really concerned,” she now fears you will tell Walter about her ongoing power struggle with Martha for the same reason.  Stop.  Don’t talk about employees to other employees. It shows you can’t handle conflict and you can’t manage and you can’t be trusted.

3.      You Consider Everyone’s Input, Very Carefully: Translation, you can’t make a decision. You are afraid to make a decision. So you put it off, and put it off, until the last possible moment. And just before the deadline, you decide. Now your employees are going to miss their deadlines and you’ve set them up for failure. OR you never decide so they do and its wrong.  It’s really your fault but they’ll be blamed. And they hate you.

4.       The Buck Stops With You: And so does the credit. You take credit for everything good that happens in your department. Their chances of getting promotions are squashed. Frankly, so are yours. Because a person who takes all the credit is seen as an individual contributor—not a team leader. Team leaders know that—in a pyramid—the people holding up the bottom row are just as important as the cute cheerleader twirling off the top. Without them, she couldn’t twirl.  If you don’t know that, you won’t be seen as a good manager.

5.       You Give Everybody What They Want: Except that you can’t. If you make promises you can’t keep, you further undermine trust. Unless you have the power to guarantee this employee the holiday week off, that employee the bonus and the other employee the raise, don’t promise them. After all, if you were told you were going to get paid every two weeks and one pay period they just said “I’m sorry, we can’t pay you this week…we really tried.” how much would you love your boss?

It’s not easy to be the boss. You know, lonely at the top and all that. On the other hand, if you aim to be promoted as a team leader and manager, you need to focus on what actually makes work life better for your employees, not on making them love you. We can help with leadership skills. Call us.


We work with companies on a project basis or on retainer, providing a custom level of HR help designed for your business, with offices in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Contact me at Caroline@valentinehr.com or call (512) 420-8267.