Most people who work in this world will have a supervisor or boss to report to. Do you know what the characteristics of each kind of boss are? Although they bear some minor similarities, noteworthy differences between a good boss and a bad boss include communication style, work ethics, and job duties. I have had both types of bosses, and it is not so easy to tell the difference, until the employee gets to know him or her. A supervisor’s communication style indicates whether he or she is a good boss or a bad boss. A good boss is polite and asks the employee to do things nicely.
His or her tone of voice is not condescending and frequently welcomes an open discussion for the benefit of the company. On the other hand, a bad boss is demanding of the employee in a “right now” kind of way. He or she may make his or her employees feel embarrassed or cause his or her staff feel as though they are not respected for their role in the success of the business. While they both routinely provide face- to- face evaluations, which are usually in the privacy of their office, the tone of their voice and their unspoken body language will be an easy clue as to his or her supervisory style.
Bad bosses are ineffective at providing performance feedback to employees. In fact, many times they fail to provide recognition for a job well done which furthers the dissatisfaction of their staff. In contrast, good bosses are quick to give praise for a job well done, they provide positive feedback, and when necessary, give feedback for the areas of work that the employee may need to be improved upon. A bad boss questions the employee in front of co-workers while a good boss takes the employee to the privacy of his or her office.
Good ones create a clear direction and clarify performance expectations, while a bad one fails to create clear direction and clarify performance expectations. A supervisor’s communication style, whether they are a good boss or a bad boss, defines their work ethics. Although they have the same general rules to follow, their work ethics make or break a boss. A good boss is reliable, positive, and goal oriented, while bad bosses are unreliable, negative, with an anything goes attitude.
A boss with a good attitude makes the workplace less stressful, while a bad boss can make the employee’s stress level rise. Robert Sutton in his new book “Good Boss, Bad Boss” located a Swedish study which tracked 3,122 men for 10 years. The study found that those with the best bosses suffered fewer heart attacks than those with bad bosses. (Sutton, 2010) Another researcher discovered that no matter what the occupation, roughly 75% of the workforce listed their immediate supervisor/boss as the most stressful part of their job. Donatelle, 2009) A good boss is passionate about their job, while a bad boss might act as if he or she does not want to be there. Good bosses do not try to intimidate their employees, but a bad boss is very intimidating. Some bad bosses are rude to their employees, while good bosses treat their employees with respect. Finally, a good supervisor will give pats on the back, or recognition for a job well done even if it’s just an article in the paper.
Bad supervisors do not show that they care, no matter how hard the staff is working in the timeframe they have to do their jobs. A supervisor’s work ethics is something that shows in their job duties. Another similarity between bosses is their job duties. They both supervise a group of employees, a good boss does not show favoritism, while a bad boss gives special attention to certain employees. That makes employees feel quite inadequate. This also makes an employee feel their boss doesn’t care about their self-esteem.
Both make out the schedules for their staff. A good boss will get the schedules finished and given to employees prior to the pay period starting, while a bad boss waits until the last minute to finish or put out the schedules. For instance, if the new schedules start on Sundays, bad bosses will get new schedules out on the Friday before, where a good boss will have schedules out on the Monday or Tuesday of the week before the pay period starts. A bad boss does not take requests off seriously, while good bosses do their best to accommodate equested days off. A good supervisor will correct an employee’s mistakes, before they become a habit, in a nice way. In contrast, a bad supervisor may overlook an employee’s mistakes or belittles the employee for the things he or she did wrong. The employee’s feelings toward their boss are often evident in the quality of work that he or she completes and the way said work is done. Employees who work under a bad supervisor tend to do worse at their jobs, while employees who work under good supervisors do a better job with their responsibilities at work.
A good manager typically allows his employees to do their work; however, he or she remains available to help the employee if needed. As a result, those employees tend to be happier, more at ease, and possess confidence in their ability to complete given tasks, which will directly affect his or her ability to be productive in his or her work environment. In contrast, a bad manager keeps his or her door closed. Often times he or she does not want to engage or invite communication with his or her employees. He or she can be quite rude when interrupted.
Many times the employee may need additional direction to correctly complete a particular task and could not receive that from a supervisor who is habitually secluded in his or her office. These types of situations could be directly related to a less productive employee. An employee needs to know how to tell if their boss is good or bad. Your health depends on it. Even though there are a few similarities for good and bad bosses, the differences are considerable. It is important for both new and old employees to know their manager’s work ethics, communication style, and job duties fit their needs.