People don’t quit their job; they quit their bosses!

An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager”-Bob Nelson.

Marcus Buckingham said: “People leave managers, not companies.” In actual sense, people don’t leave bad companies; they leave bad bosses.

Toxic bosses are the greatest liability to an establishment and even worse than fraud. Employees leave bad bosses and the companies that allow the bad boss to thrive. A bad boss can prevent a new generation of dynamic and enterprising employees from emerging.

There is nothing that kills dynamism, exterminates a ‘new generation’ and poisons change than a bad boss.

According to a survey conducted by the International Association of Administrative Professionals, a bad boss is the NO.1 reason employees quit. The greatest threat to a company’s culture is a bad or toxic boss.

The debilitating effect of a bad boss cannot be quantified, as the time spent counselling, appeasing, consoling victimised employees, reorganising departments or teams and arranging transfers as an aftermath of the strain with bad bosses and managers produce significant hidden costs for the company.

Often, talented individuals are forced to job-hop from one company to another in order to have a new lease of life. I have always said it that the greatest job of a leader is to create the right environment. When the environment is conducive, growth, fulfillment and productivity are almost automatic and even inevitable.

When you spend so much money and resources to train your employees and the end result is their exit, then it is high time you reviewed the leaders and managers, as they might just be the reason for the unhealthy exodus.

Working for a bad boss is the worst kind of mental and emotional abuse. Most stress and arguments in families and relationship are simply an outflow or aftermath of a resentful and unfulfilled relationship between an employee and his/her boss. Since the employee or victim of a toxic boss cannot vent his/her anger on his/her ‘punisher,’ he/she is forced to look for other platforms where he/she can easily transfer his/her aggression. In most cases, the family is normally the recipient.

On another side, reviews and studies have shown that bad bosses can actually make employees sick. It is a concluded study that the longer you stay in a job working for someone who stresses you, the greater the damage is to your physical and mental health.

Recent data from the American Psychology Association show that 75 per cent of American workers believe their bosses are a major cause of stress at work.

Bad bosses come in different forms and shades, which is actually the object of this piece. What are those things that bosses do to drive their employees beyond the edge? These are:
Unhealthy Expectations

A good boss sets expectations high enough to stretch us, but healthy enough not to break us.

Expectations are meant to stretch and not break us. It is good to have high expectation of others, but it must be complementarily healthy or else, it becomes toxic.

Unhealthy expectation strains the working environment. It makes others look as if they are incapable.
Old Ways

Old ways won’t open new doors. We can play ‘old school’ with our culture, but it must never be with our methodologies and ideologies.

Managers that have unyielding penchant for adhering to old ways normally frustrate dynamic employees and change gladiators.

Thomas Edison once said: “There is always a better way; find it.” Bad bosses are always inimical to change and even demoralise employees with revolutionary thought patterns.

Toxic bosses are always looking out for faults in others. They have a keen eye for faults and are psychologically blinded to the ‘goods’ in others.

There is no man that is flawless, and when we embark on a diligent search for faults in others, we will ultimately find it.

Zero Tolerance For Mistakes
Mahatma Gandi said: “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”

Mistakes are integral part of the learning system. When employees make mistakes that they will always do, we must encourage them to learn from it.

Denis Waitley said: “Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later, a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.”

Putting The Right People In The Wrong Places
Myles Munroe once said: “To know the right places for people, we must know their area of gifting.”

It is pure frustration when you keep putting people into roles that are not in tandem with their gifts, talents and expertise.

The easiest way to under develop people is to place them into departments that are not putting a demand on their talent and creativity.

Lack Of Training And Development
Richard Branson said: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

An untrained staff is a liability. No matter the level of incompetency, consistent training will always make a difference.

Henry Ford once said: “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”

You don’t build a business; you build people, and then people build the business.

Negative Bosses
Positivity fuels productivity. Some leaders are only skillful in pulling others down. They lack the ability to encourage and empower others.

Tom Ziglar said: “Negative people don’t want solutions. Solutions mean they have to work to find something else to be negative about.”

Some toxic bosses have eyes only for what has gone wrong without taking time out to really appreciate countless efforts and sacrifices from their employees.

A negative boss is the worst ‘environment’ in any work place.

Insecure Bosses
The greatest threat to an organisation is an insecure boss. An insecure boss will always short-circuit the growth and advancement of his subordinates.

When a man is insecure, everyone around him is always a ‘suspect.’ A healthy self-esteem is the greatest asset of any leader; it ensures that the boss sees everybody as a collaborator and not a competitor.

An insecure boss will always ruin other people’s happiness, just because he can’t find his own.
Authoritarian Bosses

These are very toxic bosses that seldom listen to the views and opinions of their employees.

Andy Stanley said: “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.”

Leaders who surround themselves with people that say only what they want to hear are headed for a journey into oblivion. A leader that is beyond confrontation will self-destruct himself.

Great bosses surround themselves, not only with people that say what they want to hear, but also with people that say what they ought to hear.

Criticisms and feedbacks are the lifelines of leadership.

Over Bearing, Controlling And Possessive Attitude

Steve Jobs once said: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

Bad bosses can be stifling and over-bearing. Great companies give their employees breathing space and the privilege of not having the superiors always breathing down on their neck every time.

Creativity and innovation needs space; when we deny people this ‘privilege,’ it stifles personal growth and experience.
Blame-storming And Not Brainstorming

Some toxic bosses don’t ever have compliments to throw at people; the only thing they throw is ‘blames.’ The most malignant ones can even make you believe you are unworthy, incompetent, and even unlovable.

Great bosses utilise employee’s strength while working on their weaknesses.

While I agree that employees weaknesses must not be trivialise, they must not also be the objects of our focus.

Valuing Customers More Than The Employees
Richard Branson said: “Put your staff first, your customers second and your shareholders third.”

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