You're awesome. You're so cool. You're well-informed, witty, and fair. You're the best boss ever!
That's what they tell you. And maybe you are.
But maybe, just maybe, your employees secretly are thinking something radically different about you. Something they'd never dare say out loud to you or even a co-worker, but wouldn't hesitate to search for.
Maybe something like this...
A survey earlier this year conducted by Interact and Harris Poll found nine common characteristics of terrible bosses--offenses like failing to recognize employee achievements, refusing to talk to subordinates, and stealing credit for others' ideas.
All those are bad, for sure. But that's not the whole story.
For a mostly unfiltered view, Google autocomplete gives us a little more insight into the traits people absolutely hate about bosses.
And wow, there are a lot of reasons!
Google says its algorithmically suggested search terms "reflect what other people are searching for and the content of web pages" based on "a number of objective factors, including how often others have searched for a word."
So here are 12 of surprising results for "my boss is ..."
(Note: I've grouped similar searches together, but all of these terms were indeed suggested by Google using Chrome's incognito mode.)
"I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested."
There are some truly terrible bosses. Whether you call them a tyrant, bipolar, a bully, crazy, or emotionally unstable, they make the workplace a nightmare.
As Steve Tobak brilliantly summed up these types of bosses:
"The truth is that they're usually victims of their own dysfunctions, meaning they're not usually aware of being egotistical, controlling, narcissistic bullies who treat everyone like pawns and act out their childhood traumas on those unfortunate enough to end up in their sphere of influence."
2. Always Late
"Better late than never, am I right?"
The only thing that's worse than a boss who is always late to work is one that rarely bothers to show up or is seemingly never at work.
What you're really telling people when you're late is one (or a combination) of the following:
- My time is more important than yours.
- I don't care what you have going on.
- I'm kind of a victim.
- I'm more powerful than you.
- What we were meeting about isn't that important to me.
A stapler? Can't you buy your own?"
A stingy boss can damage morale and kill productivity. Yes, sometimes (especially if business is struggling) there simply isn't enough budget to make everyone happy.
But what people absolutely hate are bosses who are cheap during the good times, when the business is thriving.
They hate the boss who won't pay to replace key employees who have left. They hate the boss who won't pay for basic office supplies they need to do their job. They really hate the boss who won't give them a raise.
Good bosses share success and provide the tools employees need to do their job well. They reward those who have been loyal to the company and helped it grow, whether it's in the form of public recognition, a promotion, or a raise.
4. Young / Younger Than Me
"Our business is on fleek!"
You may hate the fact that your boss is younger than you, but it's one thing he or she can't change. At some point in your career, it's likely you will have a boss that is younger than you. You have to deal with it.
It all starts with respect:
"The key to having great relationship with a much younger boss is to put your stubbornness aside and recognize that you both need to learn from one another."
5. Not a Good Leader
"Respect my authority!"
Be a leader, not a boss. People hate bosses who fail to lead.
Which do you want to be?
- A boss relies on authority; a leader on goodwill.
- A boss focuses on process; a leader on people.
- A boss thinks short term; a leader thinks long term.
- A boss says "I"; a leader says "we".
- A boss places blame when a problem arises; a leader fixes problems.
- A boss micromanages; a leader delegates.
- A boss instills fear; a leader inspires enthusiasm.
By the way, it's never too late to learn critical leadership skills.
6. So Stupid
"Fool me once, strike one. But fool me twice, strike three."
The boss is supposed to be the smartest person (or one of the smartest people) in the room--but in reality that isn't always the case. Some bosses lack intelligence, and as a result make bad decisions that (figuratively) drive people crazy.
If you have such a boss, check out 10 ways to look super smart in any business situation.
7. Stealing Money from the Company
"You get a Tesla. You get a Tesla. Everyone gets a Tesla!"
A boss who embezzles from the company is completely unethical and untrustworthy.
Whether it's inflating expenses or buying personal items on the company's dime, theft of company money is not a victimless crime. A boss who steals money from an employer is also stealing from customers, employees, investors, and shareholders.
"Oh you were serious about that vacation request?"
The disorganized boss may be the nicest person in the world--yet also one of the most hated.
Though this type of boss most likely isn't trying to drive you crazy, he or she most definitely will.
A boss who refuses to delegate, doesn't plan ahead, is indecisive, or can never find critical information is a bottleneck.
Disorganization leads to bottlenecks. Bottlenecks lead to frustration. Frustration leads to hate.
9. Like a Diaper
"A boss is like a diaper, always on your ass and usually full of shit."
That's an old proverb, right?
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Stay classy, Internet.
10. Advertising My Job
"Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors."
Oh this can't be good! Better make sure your LinkedIn profile up to date!
No wonder you hate your soon-to-be ex-boss!