Are You a Bad Boss?


It has been said that employees are a company’s greatest asset.  And there’s no question that good employees do enable a business to accomplish more, and when working under a reputable boss, they generally perform better as well.   Are you a good boss?

The Wall Street Journal recently released information on 5 ways to determine whether or not you’re a bad boss.  To see whether or not your management style needs revamping, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are your emails short and abrupt?

Some supervisors mistakenly believe that shorter is better, going so far as to respond to emails with a simple yes or no reply.  While that may be most efficient (and is often the result of communicating on the go), it’s not encouraging; and employees need encouragement.  Adding a simple ‘thanks’ can go a long way to improving employee morale.

2. Do you avoid talking with employees face-to-face?

Technology has made it easy to avoid conflict.  But when you’re avoiding crucial discussions with employees, you’re simply postponing valuable resolutions, allowing situations to become progressively worse.  Robert Sutton, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss says, “No one wants to do the dirty work, but it’s a boss’ lot in life to deal with difficult issues.”

3. When you do talk to them, do you yell?

Whether or not your speech is angry, if you yell, or even talk loudly, you can damage morale.  Tone of voice can be easily misconstrued, and you don’t want your employees to feel like you’re continually reprimanding them.

4. Are your employees sick a lot?

Most of us have feigned sickness when work or school has become overwhelming.  Take a look at employee attendance to see what it might say about the work environment you’re perpetuating.  Frequent sickness may be indicative of Boss Avoidance, an illness you should inoculate against, pronto.

5. Do they work overtime and still miss deadlines?

This means one of two things.  Either you’re enforcing unreasonable deadlines or your employees are spinning their wheels, struggling to find the necessary motivation to move forward quickly.  Either way it means you need to reevaluate your management style.

As your staff begins to grow, it’s important that you realize you’re more than just an accountant—you’re also a boss.   And in order for your burgeoning business to succeed, you must manage your employees well.  Take time to readjust where necessary.  It will do wonders for employee retention and overall productivity.

Join the Discussion

When it comes to topics like this one, it can be difficult to find a group of small business owners with whom you can ask questions, share insights, and offer advice.  Luckily there are online discussions groups, listservs and forums to help you connect with these individuals.  Universal Accounting Center has developed a forum for financial professionals to provide just that community environment for which you may have been searching.  Please join us and make our community stronger, and to “talk” about issues that matter to you.  Members are free to ask questions, provide resources and take advantage of the resources others may offer.  Join us today!


Middleton, Diana.  “5 Signs You’re a Bad Boss.” 18 Feb. 2011  Yahoo! Finance

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