Horrible Bosses
/ Author: CLAC Staff
/ Categories: Guide magazine /
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Horrible Bosses

Bad bosses lead to health and safety issues, worker stress, and high turnover

Bad bosses not only increase worker stress and turnover, they can negatively impact the health and safety of the work environment.

A study by Portland State University found that employees’ safety behaviour can worsen when they’re treated poorly by their managers. When bullied by their bosses, employees don’t feel like they belong to a work community and become stressed. This may lead them to only consider themselves and their interests, rather than the interests and safety of the group as a whole. For example, not practicing proper housekeeping, which can lead to slipping and tripping hazards.

Bullying may impact employee performance in other ways as well, such as arriving late or leaving early, doing the bare minimum, not completing tasks correctly, or shirking important duties. This in turn increases the stress of the impacted coworkers, creating a vicious cycle in which productivity decreases, accidents increase, and worker health and happiness sinks lower and lower.

Given the power that managers have over a workplace community, it’s not surprising that two in five Canadians have quit their jobs because of bad management. As the saying goes, people leave managers, not companies.

We all know the traits of bad managers—bullying, micromanaging, inconsistent/unfair treatment, failure to recognize or appreciate hard work, failure to follow the rules or employment contract, disregard for worker safety and well-being, irrational demands, and more.

So what are the traits of a good leader? “It’s not about controlling people or things,” says Michael Shekhtman, regional vice-president for management consulting firm Robert Half in Vancouver. “It’s about inspiring. It’s about creating an environment that allows people to be creative in their work.”

Good leaders trust their employees to do their work, encourage them to grow and succeed, and seek to build strong workplace communities. They treat others fairly and with respect. They don’t give themselves raises while everyone else is expected to take a cut. They are strong communicators, allow employees to own up to mistakes, and are willing to deal with difficult situations, clients or customers, and workers as the need arises.

Sources: cbc.ca, safetyandhealthmagazine.com


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