Leadership Qualities: Are You a Good Boss?

Have you noticed a change in your team’s behavior or productivity? Is your patience getting shorter and shorter? Are you unhappy about leading a team? Are you giving your best as a manager but unable to generate the results expected of you?

According to a Gallup survey, employees don’t leave companies, they leave their managers. In the same survey conducted with almost 1 million employees in the US, 75% of employees said that they quit their job because of a bad boss.

If you’re unaware of how your leadership qualities and behaviors impact the success of your team, it’s time to evaluate your performance.

7 Signs You Are a Bad Boss and What You Can Do to Improve Your Leadership Qualities

You Love to Micromanage

If you’re constantly monitoring the tasks you’ve assigned to your team or asking them to show you an email before sending it, then you’re a micromanager. It’s fine to check the progress of the projects you’ve assigned to your team members; however, there’s a very thin line between monitoring and micromanaging.

Per a survey conducted by Trinity Solutions and published in the book, My Way or the Highway, 79% of respondents had experienced micromanagement. Out of these, 69% considered changing their job immediately because of it.

While you may not find it comforting, your team will only develop their skills and leadership qualities if you allow them to make decisions and work independently. Assure your team that you trust them. Sometimes, though it isn’t always easy to let happen, it’s best if your team makes mistakes and learns from them.

You’re Not Paying Attention to Your Team’s Career Growth

If you aren’t having regular conversations with your team members about their career growth plans, you aren’t a good boss. Also, if you aren’t encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone and proactively participate in challenging projects, you are not paying enough attention to their development.

42% of employees say that learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work. In addition, if a job lacks avenues and opportunities for growth and leadership, 67% of millennials would consider leaving that position.

Treat the career growth of your team members with the same importance as your own. Remember, your team’s success is your success. Organize regular discussions on career development with each team member. Ask them where they see themselves in the next five years. Always make sure to discuss internal job postings.

You’re Only Providing Harsh Feedback

If you are only discussing your team members’ negative feedback during 1:1 sessions or annual reviews, you need to change your approach. Performance review discussions should not only center around improvement areas; they should address strengths, too. Another Gallup research shows that 4 out of 5 employees whose manager provided them with only negative feedback consider changing their job. Also, according to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, 90% of performance appraisals are painful and ineffective, producing a very low percentage of top performers. So, if you don’t want your team members to consider you in the “90%” bucket, ensure you are presenting negative criticism along with constructive, positive feedback.

You’re Biased

If you are changing your rules from person to person when it comes to career counseling, time-off, special projects, or promotions, you are not a good manager. One of the most important qualities of a good boss is maintaining a balanced approach toward all team members.

According to a Forbes article, employees who perceive bias are almost three times as likely to be disengaged at work. They are three times as likely to change their job, too.

If you want your team members to respect you, you need to be consistent and standardize your approach across the team.

You’re Not Flexible

Good bosses are flexible and care about their team. Do you allow your team to work from home? Are you comfortable with your team taking frequent breaks? Do you allow your team to leave a few minutes earlier than the office-closing time? If not, then you’re not a flexible boss.

Workplace flexibility is greatly appreciated by employees. According to a Deloitte study, 69% of millennials show loyalty to flexible bosses and work environments. Take this data seriously. While you may not be able to change your company policies, you can provide your team with flexibility now and then. During tough times, your employees will highly appreciate your flexibility and understanding.

You Don’t Respect Your Team’s Personal Time

If you are sending your team emails after office hours or asking them to meet online for a discussion at night, you’re not a good boss. If you expect your boss to respect your personal space, you need to follow the same approach for your team. And be sure to talk to your team about employee burnout and explain the importance of personal time.

You’re Not Building a Diverse and Inclusive Team

Diversity and inclusion are hot topics in the workplace. It’s no longer acceptable to solely rely on your personal connections, referrals, and internal job postings to build your team. If you do not create an environment that supports diversity and inclusion, you are missing opportunities to build a successful team and, as a result, you will be viewed as a bad boss.

Per a Glassdoor article, 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity a crucial factor when looking for employment opportunities, and over 50% of current employees want their team and workplace to do more to increase diversity.