All employees have their own definitions of a “scary boss” – whether it’s someone who doesn’t understand boundaries, calls during vacations, blames others for their mistakes – and they can most likely immediately conjure a name and face to fit that definition. You don’t want to be one of the people they’re picturing. While it’s important to gain your employees’ respect, it’s also important to keep in mind that fear does not equal respect.
Characteristics of a Scary Boss
- You criticize your employees more than you compliment them.
- You micromanage employees instead of trusting them to do the work.
- You’re more than willing to offer up an employee’s name when something goes wrong instead of taking any blame yourself.
- Your comments or jokes seem to make your employees uncomfortable.
- You don’t handle stress well – and all your employees know it.
Avoid Being a Scary Boss
Have no fear – you can avoid becoming a scary boss and an insecure leader. All it takes is a little work on your part, and a desire to be a good leader. Below are a few good places to start:
- Respect your employees: Before your employees will demonstrate respect for you, you have to show them respect. You can do this by respecting their scheduled work hours, trusting them to complete the projects they’re assigned, rewarding them for their accomplishments and thanking them for their hard work. Treating your employees with respect and trust will also help gain their loyalty.
- Be aware of your words and actions: While you may want your employees to like you, it’s important to remember that they are your employees – not your buddies. Something you view as funny might be considered offensive by an employee, or even a customer. Lead by example, and always err on the side of caution when it comes to your words and actions in order to avoid a potential harassment accusation.
- Manage your stress: When you’re under stress from the job it may be easy to take it out on your employees by setting unrealistic deadlines or goals, blaming them when something goes wrong, or just mistreating them in general. If you can’t learn to control how you respond to stress, it will eventually have an impact on your relationship with your employees and their respect for you. If you know you are prone to stress and don’t always react well, learn methods to help you manage your stress before it becomes an issue.
Prevent Harassment Complaints with Online Training
A scary boss isn’t the only one capable of harassment in the workplace. Training your employees on what harassment looks like, how to report it, and how to intervene when appropriate will help prevent harassment. The more information employees have, the more empowered they will be.