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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why employees don't like bosses

Overworked and underpaid
Employer norms are influenced by commerce
Employees who hate their managers often have good reason to. Although this is not always the direct fault of managers, it does have a lot to do with the nature of business to which managers are wholeheartedly subscribed. Somewhere in the social contract of employment, reasonableness and respect  take a back seat to unsavory managerial objectives; this ends up causing bosses to be disliked. Sometimes this lack of corporate stewardship is not so bad, but it often leads to employee dissonance and resentment.

1.  Profit

Bottom lines are an obsession for many managers. Optimization, efficiency and utilization are words and thoughts not far from managers' brains. To employees, it seems like the only thing their managers ultimately care about is what their boss, lofty ambitions, or profit driven managerial job descriptions guide them to do. Employment is a marathon for employees, and repeated increases in productivity benchmarks and deadlines to meet bottom lines can make that marathon much more difficult to run. Talent management psychology firm Psych Press emphasizes how addressing employee interests can avert this source of hate and actually improve bottom lines.

2. Motives

The motives of managers are not always in the employees best interest. Employees that know and understand this hate it and quite possibly feel exploited. For example, when managers are corporate ladder climbers, megalomaniacs, and completely subservient to the positions they are forced to uphold, employees feel stuck. More often than not, the business climate is oppressive, and employees can end up hating their managers for it. If enterprise feedback management company Allegiance has anything to say about it, they might suggest engaging employees to develop a greater sense of corporate citizenship. 

3. Demands

Managers are often rigorously exacting or overly stringent which is annoying to people at the receiving end of those demands per the National Business Research Institute, Inc. Employees understand they have to work and meet quality standards, but are often not overly concerned with how fast or above and beyond the product or service they provide goes. Employees that feel their soul is being sucked by managers are that much less likely to care about profits they themselves will never see apart from token bonuses.  Self-respecting employees realize an oppressive manager employee relationship would fail miserably in any other aspect of life as it is so demanding, yet at work, it's shrugged off as business as usual.

4. Reality

The reality of employees is different from the reality of managers, especially when managers get paid so much that the concerns of employees seem trivial to them. Employees are subject to hierarchy and in cases of team managers, independent employees are not much better off. Managers who are selected for their ability to command and successfully impose on employees marginalize and de-humanize them to the point of being hated. The Institute of Employment Studies also believes this type of effect can be improved upon via two way engagement between organization and employee. 

5. Character

Sometimes bosses are a reflection of their companies, which according to the Huffingtion Post have more rights than people. Being a boss sometimes gets to manager's heads, and perhaps too often. Employees hate their manager when (s)he is bossy. If (s)he is unprofessional, vindictive, resentful or has knack of bringing personal issues into work via passive aggressive behavior or outright over-lordship this can make working for this manager similar to hell. Getting fired by such a manager is a bitter-sweet inevitability. A manager with good tact, personality and charisma can postpone or smooth over poor administrative practices, but that just pushes the resentment deeper when employees hate their managers.

Employment has many pitfalls as well as several benefits. Good employers value their employees, make legitimate efforts to accomodate their needs and compensate fairly or generously. On the other hand, bad employers exploit workers for all they are worth before they burn out, and for as little cost to a company as possible. Since people need to survive, employers have the advantage of being able to determine how well a labor system that is sometimes similar to indentured servitude suits employee objectives.

Image: Kim Schuster, CC BY 2.0
"My life might be a cliche"