Unprofessionalism as a Strategy to Help Your Employees Hate You!
Modern media is glutted with articles about how supervisors and managers can earn the respectful affection of their workers as a means to boost efficiency and productivity. Since I’m addressing a very tiny niche here, I want to talk to those of you who are convinced that people work better for you when they hate you. I know you’re out there! I’ve seen your work! (The rest of you can listen in and learn what you can.) These are things I’ve observed from the best (or, the worst, as the case may be). Every example I include is real, and they are all effective strategies to make your people hate you!
Unprofessionalism in your strategy to help your workers hate you…
Shoot the messenger
The secretary stood meekly in the boss’s doorway to deliver a message. “Lois called. She’s stuck in traffic and is going to be late for her meeting with you.”
The boss pounded the desk, his face pinched with irritation. He yelled, “I told her that I was on a tight schedule, and if she was late the meeting will have to be postponed! You get her back on the phone and you tell her to just turn around and go home!”
This is a perfect technique to earn the hatred of your employees: When your employee relays a negative message to you from someone else, respond to them angrily or defensively as if they were the person from whom the message came. This is unprofessionalism at its finest.
If your goal is for employees to hate you, then you’ll want to avoid calmly asking the messenger to contact the appointment to reschedule.
Mindy strode into the department meeting with a frown. She tossed some reports onto the table at the front of the room, and announced to the room, “Here is an example of how NOT to fill out this form. Everyone take a look.” Then she turned and addressed one of the workers and said, “Bill, I need to see you in my office so we can go over how to do this AGAAIIN.” Yes, I’m sure most reading this are aware of the importance of rendering discipline privately, but public humiliation makes the event all the more memorable in the minds of your workers.
The great thing about technology is that this can now be done electronically. One boss I know emailed the entire department to lambaste one employee.
A caveat: This particular type of unprofessionalism is so effective at inspiring the hatred of your workers, that you might need to vary your route to work and buy some of those slash proof ‘run-flat’ tires for your car.
Clique here for Resentment
Pick out your favorites in the workplace and laugh, joke and interact with them, while shunning everyone else. After all, doesn’t it make sense that the outsiders will see this and start kissing up so they can be a part of the “in group?”
Keep in mind that true professionalism requires that you treat all employees with the same respect and appropriate attention without regard to your personal preferences.
Read My Mind
Constantly give your employees vague instructions. Be irritated when your employees ask questions to clarify what you want from them. Then get angry when the result is not what you wanted. See “Public Floggings” above. These double bind, damned-if-you-do /damned-if-you-don’t tactics are a powerful potion. One drink and they’re hooked on hating you!
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Curse while reprimanding someone else for profanity.
Demand clean desks of employees while yours is piled high.
Chide others for office gossip, but only when you haven’t been included in the loop.
Send out a memo about the dress code in the same rumpled clothes you’ve worn for 3 days.
Use your imagination on this…the options are endless.
Everybody agrees with me
Drop an employee’s name as someone who agrees with you when correcting other employees (even though the discussion never happened).
Pass the Buck
Blame an employee for your own errors while speaking to a client, rather than simply apologize to the client and promise to make it right. This is a common type of unprofessionalism that many hated bosses make a habit of. Real professionalism never singles out an employee to use as a scapegoat with a client.
Unprofessional behavior is a great strategy for making sure your employees hate you and badmouth you behind your back. But, it’s not the only one.
This is the second in a planned “tongue-in-cheek” series about tactics that bosses employ to ensure their people hat them. If you missed the first one of the series, you can read it here: #1 The 7 Secrets to Workplace Misery
Watch for the next article in this series dedicated to helping your employees to hate you. It’s entitled “The Power of Stupidity.”
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