Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

5 Ways You're Driving Your Employees Crazy

By Maurie Backman – Apr 8, 2018 at 2:03PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Are you guilty of any of these?

As a manager, your goal should be to motivate and educate your employees so that they not only exceed in the workplace, but come to regard you as a great boss. But if you're not careful, you could end up achieving the opposite effect -- alienating your staff and getting them to dread interactions with you. Here are a few manager habits you'll want to curb, because chances are, they're driving your employees up the wall.

1. Micromanaging

It's one thing to check in on employees and make it known that you're available to them, but it's another thing to be perpetually breathing down their necks and hounding them for details on what they're doing and how their work is progressing. Cross that line, and you'll land deep in micromanagement territory, which is an easy way to turn your employees off.

Professionally dressed man yelling at another person across a table.

Image source: Getty Images.

Rather than be that nag, give your workers some breathing room unless there's a good reason not to. For example, if you have an employee who's been historically unreliable, then by all means, press that person for information and insist on frequent updates. Otherwise, let your workers be, and give them a chance to prove that they can be trusted to do their jobs.

2. Sharing non-constructive criticism

There's nothing wrong with giving your workers constructive criticism. Quite the contrary -- that sort of feedback can help them grow as employees, and as a manager, it's your job to facilitate that. But if you get into the habit of only sharing negative thoughts that don't include legitimate advice or action items, you won't be doing yourself or your team any favors. Rather, you'll come off as impossible-to-please and just plain mean.

3. Being inflexible

As a manager, it's natural to be wary of offering employees too much flexibility. After all, the last thing you want is for them to take advantage of that leeway and start falling down on the job. At the same time, refusing to be accommodating off the bat is a good way to get under your workers' skin, especially in a day and age when telecommuting and flexible scheduling is so ubiquitous. So rather than display a complete unwillingness to bend, offer up flexibility in small doses. Start by allowing employees to leave early for appointments or work from home on an as-needed basis, and see how that goes. If deadlines continue to be met and work quality doesn't decline, you can slowly but surely offer up more wiggle room to those who prove they deserve it.

4. Refusing to entertain new ideas

As a manager, you've earned the right to dictate how things get done at the office. At the same time, you owe it to your staff to be open to suggestions, especially those that are well-presented and thought-out. If you shoot down every idea your workers come up with, they're apt to grow frustrated very quickly -- and their performance might decline as a result.

5. Overscheduling your team

Meetings are a part of life in most workplaces, but there's a limit as to how much time your employees want or can afford to spend cooped up in conference rooms. Although meetings are often necessary and have the potential to be productive, don't forget that they might prevent your employees from doing their actual jobs. So be judicious in scheduling mandatory meetings, especially during busy periods at the office. Otherwise, don't be surprised when your employees react negatively to them -- and you.

Sometimes, being a good boss boils down to knowing what not to do. Avoid these mistakes, and your employees will have a better opinion of you on a whole.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/05/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.