Are bosses getting worse?

Feb 07 2008 by Print This Article

You can't seem to move on the web at the moment for stories about bad bosses. Here's another, this time from, which takes a look at what characterizes a bad boss as well as the implications of one.

Author Gordon Miller reckons that the trademarks of a bad boss are:

  • don't involve employees in decision-making
  • don't buy into work-life balance
  • flat-out rude to workers
  • think intimidation is an effective management tool
  • endorse the "my way or the highway" theory
  • subscribe to the "churn and burn" management theory
  • don't ask employees for their views or ideas

Sounds about right to me!

But Miller boss on to argue that bosses appear to be getting worse – or at least, our perception of them is. In particular, he suggests, it seems that the bosses of today are unable to deal with the modern worker.

"Today's employees have totally different requirements for their careers than the workers of the recent past. Most managers don't know what those requirements are let alone how to deal with them. It's basically a huge mis-connect," explains Miller.

However, the workers themselves are complicating matters. A recent survey, mentioned in the article, states that seventy-nine percent of workers indicate they don't want to be managed, but mentored. Miller states that most managers are not prepared to be that.

What does this do to the workplace? It impacts employee retention. "We found that more than one-third of all workers plan to change jobs," says Miller. "In fact, sixty-seven percent of employees say their company does not deserve their loyalty, partially due to the lousy manager syndrome."

So, while it may seem like employees just want to complain and whine, the fact is, most of the people you manage may be looking for work elsewhere.