How to tell if your boss is a dud

How to tell if your boss is a dud

A lack of “trust and integrity” was the main reason employees would “fire” a boss, a new survey has found.

While a third of respondents to the poll, hosted by website, nominated trust as their main issue, 24 per cent would leave a micromanager. Other boss crimes were not providing development opportunities (12 per cent); not providing open and honest feedback (12 per cent); stealing credit for ideas and work (10 per cent); and not providing coaching support when needed (8 per cent).

Management experts DDI Australia sponsored the survey and general manager Mark Busine was not surprised that trust was such an important issue.

“Trust takes a long time to build and can be destroyed in an instant,” he said. Mr Busine said “trust breakers” included:

Bosses who focused on impressing senior managers while treating subordinates poorly (called “managing up”).
Saying one thing and doing another.
Breaking promises.
Not managing bad employee behaviour such as a team member who was constantly late, who shirked tasks or disrupted other staff.
Making decisions based on personal gain not on what would benefit the team or the business as a whole.

Mr Busine said DDI’s own research showed that organisations were falling short when it came to “preparing” employees for leadership.

“If we are not preparing our leaders to be good managers then we are not creating good role models for future leaders and so the cycle (of poor management) continues,” he said.

“Our own research shows most people leave a job because of their relationship with their manager.”

Confronting a boss with some feedback about their behaviour and it’s impact was one course of action to consider, Mr Busine said although he acknowledged this could be tough.

“If there is no response to your feedback, then it’s probably time to consider if the organisation is really the right place for you,” Mr Busine said.

However, “illegal” behaviour such as bullying, sexual harassment or discrimination should be reported to human resources.

Kate Southam is the editor of

Characteristics of a dud boss

  • Delegates work that might end in failure to avoid blame.
  • Answers questions with “yes” or “no” rather than an explanation or reason.
  • Humiliates staff in front of other people.
  • Shows one face to staff and another to senior managers.
  • Creates an environment where people are not allowed to fail.
  • Won’t stick up for staff if they make a mistake.
  • Brings personal problems to work.
  • Judges staff on hours worked rather the quality of their work.
  • Is a crisis manager, not a planner.

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