An award-winning HR Tech entrepreneur and champion of female entrepreneurship from Birmingham, UK

How to spot a bad boss before you start working for them

A bad boss can exhibit negative qualities and behaviours that detrimentally impact the work environment and employees’ well-being. Here are a few characteristics of a bad boss:

  • Lack of Communication
  • Lack of Support and Guidance
  • Micromanagement
  • Lack of Recognition
  • Unfair Treatment
  • Poor Decision-Making
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Lack of Accountability
  • Lack of Vision and Leadership
  • Ineffective Conflict Resolution

It’s important to note that these traits can vary in degree and combination, and a single characteristic doesn’t necessarily define a lousy boss.

As a boss, I know I’ve occasionally displayed more than one of the above and have not always gotten it right. However, leaders who don’t learn from their mistakes or persistently get this wrong will contribute to a detrimental work environment impacting employee morale and productivity.

If you’re in the market for a new job, it might be worth considering what you want from your ideal manager, not just the role and Company. I’ve found that savvy candidates have asked me what I’m like as a boss or how I’d describe my management style.

We often forget that interviews are a two-way process. Just as HR and hiring managers might think that they’ve shortlisted the ideal candidate on paper, from the candidate’s perspective, they’ve probably applied for what looks like a perfect job on paper. So the next step, meeting in person, is where first impressions count for both sides.

If you’ve had the misfortune of working for a bad boss, then you’ll know that it’s not just your career and working life that’s affected; it’s something that impacts your entire life! So if you’re wondering how to avoid a life of misery and spot a bad boss before accepting a job offer, look at some of my warning signs in Fast Company – 6 Red Flags That Say Your Boss Is Going To Be A Nightmare.

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