Friday, September 12, 2008

Ten Things Your Boss Hates About You

Almost half of employees say they hate their boss, and jobseekers say bad management is the number one reason they quit.

But have you ever thought that while you’re complaining about the boss in the break room, she’s probably sick of you too?

Organisational psychologist and partner at Mentors Psychology for Business Dr Susan Nicholson says negativity, making excuses and spreading gossip are the boss's biggest complaints about staff.

Here are ten things your boss hates about you.

You're unreliable

An employee who says one thing and does the other, doesn't complete tasks or meet deadlines and always has excuses causes headaches for bosses - and can make them look bad to the higher ups - a big no-no.

"What really is difficult is the person who doesn't deliver, who makes promises and then the boss ends up taking a lot more work on their behalf, and the boss has to follow up," says Dr Susan Nicholson.

You won't fess up to mistakes

People who try to cover up mistakes instead of owning up infuriate bosses, says Dr Nicholson, who calls it the number one career killer.

"Bosses are far more able to handle people making mistakes than covering things up," she explains.

"If an employee makes excuses, lies or doesn't actually take responsibility for their part in the problem, it infuriates bosses."

But bosses need to create an environment where people feel they won’t get in trouble if they make a mistake, says Dr Nicholson.

You gossip too much

Talking about people behind their back, stirring up trouble and malicious gossip create hassle for the boss who just wants a peaceful, productive team.

Worst of all, bosses feel powerless in the face of office rumours.

YOUR SAY: Does your boss have it in for you? Tell us below

Dr Nicholson says negative office gossip often occurs because workers are reluctant to own up to the fact that they don't like a co-worker.

"But the boss hears and sees that people aren't getting along," she says.

"It's one of those areas where the boss gets quite angry and frustrated about it, but doesn't know how to handle it," says Dr Nicholson.

"The 'just do it' type of boss is going to find it more frustrating than the boss that delights in the fact that people are people and you have to manage people."

Nothing's ever good enough for you

There's one in every team - the employee who constantly gripes, points out that new ideas are destined to fail or sits in meetings scowling and smirking. Cynical workers say they are realistic, but their negativity takes a toll on office morale.

Negativity and complaining are employers' biggest pet peeves, with bosses saying it creates an 'us versus them' attitude, says Dr Nicholson.

"The capability issues, they can be worked on," she says.

"But if someone's attitude, lack of motivation or particularly a negative attitude towards the company - complaining, being cynical. Nothing’s ever good enough."

You hate change

Workers love to grumble, but those that can't adapt to any change annoy their bosses. In larger companies, the change is usually coming from the top and out of your boss's control anyway.

Often, the boss is implementing decisions that have come from above and may not be that enthusiastic about them either. Having to sell someone else's idea to a negative employee is no one's idea of a good day.

You smell

Workers who prefer the scent of their own musk or who forgo toothpaste in favour of a solid diet of garlic are a tricky matter for bosses.

Bosses dread having to talk to a staff member about their dress and appearance. And as an adult in the workplace, your boss probably feels like they shouldn't have to explain the concept of soap.

You're always late

Tardiness, sick days or long lunches add up, and bosses notice - especially if you then lie about it. Don't think your boss doesn't notice if you are constantly cutting corners.

Taking frequent sick days, constantly being late and always being out at lunch when the boss comes looking for you mean you are unreliable, lazy and probably are just creating resentment from your co-workers.

You're over-eager

Just as bad as lazy workers are the overeager ones, say bosses. Your boss doesn't want to have to think up extra projects for you or spend much time listening to your new ideas on how to overhaul the workplace. And they certainly don't want to have to worry that you're after their job.

You run your personal life from your desk

Spend hours browsing eBay, updating your Facebook profile or recounting last night's drunken revelry at the top of your voice over the phone will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons.

Spending too much time on personal matters while on the clock will also annoy your co-workers and cause resentment, something your boss probably doesn’t want to have to deal with.

You're a bully

Bullies who shout, swear and intimidate their peers are a major disruption and can cause productivity to plummet - all when your boss just wants a peaceful, busy team.

More than a quarter of workers saying they have been bullied at work, and more than half say they have witnessed bullying in the workplace, meaning a drop in productivity that will hurt the bottom line - not something your boss wants.


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