You may report to different supervisors if you work as an entry-level or mid-level employee. While some supervisors can help you have a positive work experience, others may be unpleasant or hinder your productivity. Learning about the different types of bad supervisors can help you find professional solutions and have a more enjoyable work experience.
In this article, we discuss some bad boss traits, eight types of bad bosses, and some tips for positively dealing with them.
What traits does a bad boss have?
Bad bosses are managers or supervisors who have trouble working with and leading some or all of their employees. They can manifest in many forms, such as managers who are controlling, show favoritism or don’t communicate their expectations. A bad boss may act unprofessionally when delegating tasks to others, speaking with employees, completing their work or leading team meetings. Some traits that may describe a bad boss include:
8 types of bad bosses
Some colleagues or individuals might have different experiences with your supervisor compared to you. It’s important to determine what kind of bad manager you’re working with and find a solution to your challenging relationship. Here are eight different types of bad bosses you may encounter in the workplace:
1. an unfriendly boss
It can be challenging for you and other employees to develop a strong working relationship with an unfriendly manager in your presence. Managers may be unkind to their employees due to an overloaded schedule, introversion or anxiety.
Consider the problems they could be experiencing in their work or personal life. It can be helpful to know that a lack of friendliness might be a side effect of a challenge they’re experiencing elsewhere. You can also approach your manager with this concern and ask them to adjust their communication approach.
2. A boss who has poor leadership skills
Some managers might not be great leaders for you or your colleagues. For example, a manager might give their employees a lot of commands and tasks but appear to do little work on their own. Poor leadership may occur due to a lack of motivation, anxiety, insufficient industry knowledge or a workload that’s too much for one manager to handle.
Unnoticed background work might be the case for managers who seem to exhibit poor leadership. Sometimes, these managers perform tasks and duties that other employees don’t notice. If you have a supervisor who seems to exhibit poor leadership, consider observing any work or tasks they might be completing that you previously hadn’t noticed. Otherwise, if you’re sure that your manager isn’t working with your team, you can consider informing the human resources (HR) department.
3. A boss who works alone
Some supervisors prefer to complete tasks and projects by themselves. They may neglect to delegate tasks or objectives to other employees and take credit for the work once they complete it. Forming a working relationship with these types of supervisors can be challenging.
If you work with this kind of manager, consider asking for a more detailed outline of your expected responsibilities and duties. This can help you find tasks and objectives for yourself or help your manager understand the need to explain how you can better contribute to the company or team.
4. A boss who micromanages other employees
Some managers have trouble trusting their employees or staff to complete their assigned jobs and tasks. These managers may check in with their employees frequently or coach employees constantly, even when it’s unnecessary. For example, a manager may point out a mistake on a project before the employee has completed it. Although this kind of initiative can be helpful, it’s sometimes more beneficial for the employee to find the mistake on their own before turning the project in for review.
If your manager tends to micromanage, consider discussing this behavior with them because they might be unaware of it. If you explain your desire to find mistakes and inconsistencies on your own, it can help you grow as an employee and help them grow as a manager.
5. a disrespectful boss
Another occurrence is managers acting disrespectfully toward their employees. This can manifest in many forms, such as making unprofessional remarks to staff or shaming and critiquing individuals on their work performance.
If this occurs at your place of work, it’s important to report these behaviors right away to a higher-level supervisor or the company’s HR department.
6. A boss who’s too demanding
Sometimes, a manager can be overly tough or critical during working hours. This can cause stress for employees and staff and lower the morale of work teams. For example, your supervisor might give you a lot of edits on a project and require you to turn them in within an unrealistic period.
If you work with this kind of manager, communicate that the task is unreasonable when you account for other duties that are part of your job description. Offer a solution, such as enlisting another team member’s help or extending the deadline for the edits.
7. an unhelpful boss
A manager may be unhelpful when you ask them for advice or assistance with some of your projects. These managers sometimes think employees learn better if they succeed or fail on their own. Although this can be a helpful learning technique, managers can benefit from understanding when their assistance supports their employees’ performance and overall growth.
If your supervisor has trouble giving you advice or assistance, consider asking your team members for help. You can also have a respectful discussion with your manager about how their behavior affects your work performance. You can also request more specific feedback from your manager about how to proceed with a specific element of a project or task.
8. A boss who shows hostility
Bad managers can show hostility when interacting with employees. A hostile manager may lack empathy and speak condescendingly to employees.
If your manager is creating a hostile environment that’s affecting your motivation or job satisfaction, report them to the company’s HR department. You might also consider seeking employment elsewhere.
How can bad bosses impact the workplace?
Here are some effects that bad bosses can inflict on a workplace:
Lower employee morale
A bad manager may cause employees on their team to experience low morale. The employees may not enjoy coming to work and completing their expected tasks.
Higher employee turnover rates
A bad manager may create an unpleasant work environment, causing employees to leave for other jobs. If a workplace is receiving a new influx of employees regularly, it can result in the need for more training and accountability. Existing employees may have to undergo adjustment periods to get used to working with new people.
A bad supervisor may result in less productivity in the workplace. Lower productivity can result from more unexplained employee absences because of their bosses’ behavior. Lower productivity can also result from ineffectual managers who can’t provide employees with the necessary resources to succeed.
Greater risk of legal liability
Bad managers may create legal liabilities for the company. They may fail to abide by company protocols and federal or local workplace laws, which can cause the company to encounter lawsuits.
Poor company image
A company’s former employees might speak about their experiences negatively if they had a bad manager. This can create a poor public image of the company, making it difficult to hire and retain new employees when needed.
Tips for handling bad bosses
Here are several tips you can follow to handle a challenging supervisor:
Take notes and collect evidence
Documenting your manager’s bad behavior toward you and others can be helpful. You can either give these notes to the HR department if you notify them of your manager’s behavior or use them as a presentation tool if you approach your manager directly about their behavior.
Taking notes can reveal that a manager isn’t as bad as you think. It’s possible that their unprofessional behavior doesn’t occur as often as you think, and recording it on paper can help show that.
Talk with your fellow employees
If a manager is acting unprofessionally toward you, consider talking with a fellow employee about it. It’s possible that the supervisor is treating multiple people this way, or others might have noticed your supervisor treating you unfairly. This can help you determine what steps to take next when approaching your manager or the company’s HR department about the situation.
Contact the HR department
If a manager continues to act unprofessionally toward you or your fellow employees, it’s important to let an HR employee know. It’s better to resolve these challenges when they occur instead of waiting to say anything. This can help the HR department act right away and intervene if necessary.
Approach your supervisor directly
If your supervisor’s behavior isn’t bad enough to involve HR or differs from how they usually behave, consider approaching them directly. It’s possible that there’s a misunderstanding, or they might be having trouble in their own lives and don’t realize it’s affecting their team. Sometimes, making your manager aware of how you perceive them can stop any unprofessional workplace behavior and help things return to normal more quickly.
I hope you find this article helpful.