MHB WEEKLY: By the students, for the world

Good Boss/Bad Boss | January 28, 2011

Even if you have a bad boss — a harsh reality for many who count themselves as members of the workforce — perhaps it’s reassuring to know that it could be worse. eBossWatch, an online advocacy group for the victims of bad management, recently published its 2010 list of America’s worst bosses, mostly a comprehensive list of the year’s major harassment lawsuits and the top-level execs who ended up as defendants. Finding themselves on the list are former U.S. representative Eric Massa (#4); action movie star Steven Seagal (#46); and, taking the lamentable top spot, Chief Eddie Burns of the Dallas Fire Department — who cost his city nearly $1.5 million in legal fees stemming from three separate sex suits in the same year.

The misconduct of a boss, however, is often much less perceptible — and much less publicly punishable — than in the cases above. But these behaviors and attitudes trickle down to the front line employees who are the face of an organization, the very employees responsible for carrying out the goals and values of their employer — so it’s extremely important for bosses to maintain a level of respect and trust. With the help of the Human Resources Professional Association, who recently polled 793 Canadian HR reps about management and its effect on the workplace, below is a list of the characteristics of both bad and good bosses.


1. Inappropriate Comments/Bullying. The country of Turkey, which recently passed a new workplace harassment law, has already experienced surging numbers of lawsuits related to bullying. As bosses too often forget, the office is neither a frat nor a locker room.
2. Favoritism. Even the President gets called out for this practice: with his weekend appointment of Jeffrey Immelt — former CEO of General Electric — as head of the Jobs and Competitiveness Council, Obama faced a backlash of conservative criticism because Immelt oversaw NBC, a television station historically favorable to the Democratic Party. In the office, playing favorites alienates certain employees and puts undue pressure on the shoulders of others.
3. Unwillingness to Follow Due Process. If your boss doesn’t notify the company when he’ll be leaving early, why should you?
4. Treating Employees with Disrespect. For this trait, simply see below.


1. Giving Employees A Voice. Certain consultants encourage 360 degree feedback — a system that recommends constant job assessment from boss to employee and vice versa — as a way to establish genuine relationships in the face of hierarchy.
2. Treating Employees Like Volunteers. Using this mindset, bosses will see their associates as motivated, caring individuals who work for the benefit of the company.
3. Patience. The short tempers of bosses translate into short tempers of employees. Patience on the part of management, meanwhile, will be reflected company-wide.
4. Transparency. Employees who are privy to all of the office’s goings-on — decisions made, deals signed, etc. — are more likely to trust their company and invest deeply in it.
5. High Involvement Management. This term encapsulates all of the actions above. A boss who is highly involved with his employees, no matter their place in the company, will in turn inspire high levels of motivation and job satisfaction.


1 Comment »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by eBossWatch, eBossWatch and Michele W., Michele W.. Michele W. said: RT @eBossWatch: Nice, thoughtful article, and eBossWatch is the lead-in! […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Good Boss/Bad Boss « Master's in Human Behavior Blog -- — January 28, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

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