Being a boss comes with many responsibilities, stressful situations, and any number of employees to manage daily. This type of power can go to anyone’s head and, before you know it, you’ve stepped into the realm of bully rather than boss (and may open yourself up to workplace bullying workers compensation claims). If you’re unsure about what category you fit into, below are five key points to help you determine if you’re a boss who bullies.
1. You Receive Complaints
An obvious one, yes, but there are many bosses out there who don’t fully understand that what they did to receive the complaint was a form of workplace bullying. You have to tread carefully around these situations, as employees who can build a case around their ill-health due to workplace bullying could be eligible to make a compensation claim. This can severely affect both you and your company’s reputation (and finances).
2. You Criticise
There is a big difference between providing critical feedback and criticising the work of your employees. Everyone needs critical feedback in the workplace as it’s how you learn, but criticising does nothing except lower confidence and hinder workflow. The best way to determine this is to take note of how many negative points you address during the day in relation to how many positive. Be helpful rather than critical and you’ll be more approachable to your workers.
3. You Blame
You’re a boss who bullies if you are finding things to blame your employees for, even when there was no blame to be laid in the first place. Unsent emails, internet failures, and missing work from outside sources are not your employees’ fault. If it is about a task your worker was meant to perform, and they haven’t, make sure they were actually set the task in the first place instead of immediately jumping to conclusions.
4. You Have Unreasonable Expectations
You need to provide incentives to your employees to want to aim high; otherwise they are never going to gain the self-esteem to want to step out and move forward. There is such a thing as unrealistic expectations. Don’t push these onto your employees because, at the end of the day, they are only getting paid to do a certain amount of work within a certain amount of time. No one can achieve the impossible.
5. You Demand Rather than Ask
Just because you’re the boss does not give you the right to spend your day making demands of your employees. Asking is a much more civil way to go about the tasks of each day and you will find your employees more willing to come to you and offer assistance in busy periods.
If you’re a boss who bullies, you are directly contributing negatively to the emotional and physical health of your employees and are creating an unhappy and uncomfortable work environment. When people are unhappy, they are less likely to focus and be productive. If you recognise any of the above traits, in any degree, it’s time to take a step back and reassess your approach.