Don’t Get Demoted: Signs You’re An Ineffective Boss

June 6, 2013  |  
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No one likes working for a crazy, over-the-top, hard-to-get-along-with boss… but what happens when that boss is you? Sometimes you know when you are being a bit harsh and other times you can be kinda clueless to the effects of your reign of terror.

There is no manual when it comes to being an effective leader in the workplace as different personalities can prove to have a positive outcome on production. There are however certain traits and actions you can do that may hurt your team or chances of staying in your current position.

How effective are you as a boss? Not sure? Here are a few signs you may need major improvement. Careful. Upper management is always watching.

Fail to communicate

It’s cool if you know the gameplan, but shouldn’t everyone else? Failure to communicate with your team can leave too much up for interpretation which means not achieving the right goal, or seeing the desired outcome. This could be anything from not giving the proper instructions on a project to not following up with team members on their progress.

Give threats

Since when does being a boss mean becoming someone’s parent? Always check your tone and how you deliver commands to people. And always remember that threats are never okay. It’s one thing if you need to be stern with an employee who is not doing their job, but it’s another to make threats they can take to human resources. Talk about power trip!

Overly arrogant

Okay so you have a managerial role, congrats. This does not give you the right to act like you are God’s gift to your office (remember pride comes before the fall). Check your ego at the door as your job is about your team and not just you. Being very arrogant can often cause an “us” vs “them” divide around the office which is not good for productivity.

Focus too much on drama instead of job

A good leader can rise above pettiness and focus on the task at hand. What message do you think gets sent around the office if you are more concerned about stupid politics and drama than your own responsibilities? If your office is notorious for craziness, you need to make the decision to set the standard of ethics — not participate.

Take credit for other people’s work

Employees who work hard should be praised for their contributions. You are really not a good boss if you take their shine away by stealing credit for their work. This is not only insulting but very silly as a good boss receives recognition for the work that their team does.

Don’t care about team’s well-being


One major sign you are a not so good boss is if you couldn’t care less about your team. Your office is not supposed to feel like slavery with employees working aimlessly around the clock to please you. Heaven forbid someone needs a sick day as you would probably throw the book at them making life harder when they return. Everyone likes to feel appreciated so it’s important that you make somewhat of an effort to show those under your authority that they matter.

Have a high turnover rate

You have to know you are an unbearable boss if your department has a high turnover rate. If more people are quitting and transferring to other positions, you might want to be careful. This is something that upper management notices.


A good boss never has to belittle his or her team, treating them like incompetent minions. You kinda have to trust that the recruiters at your company know what they are doing and hired qualified people who can handle the tasks you give them. No one likes feeling micromanaged so be careful not to suck the life (or enjoyment) out of your employees.

Everyone is more productive and happier when you are gone

Ding dong the witch is gone! Just how evil is your reign of terror on your employees if they are more productive on the days you are out of the office? You seriously need to rethink your management skills if people seem happier and have a willingness to do work when you step out. That could mean you’ll soon be asked to step out permanently.

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