By Susan Solovic

No one can understand the stress and frustration of building a business unless they’ve been there. Even your employees who work in the trenches with you daily can’t comprehend the amount of tension, concern, sometimes even fear, you experience when it’s your tush that's on the line. Believe me, I know!

The high level of stress entrepreneurs deal with, however, often precludes them from seeing how they interact with their team members. Intensely focused on building the business, small business owners may let their people-skills unintentionally slip, resulting in behaviors that cause them to be a bad boss. If you’re a bad boss, not only do your employees suffer, but so does your business.

Now, are you starting to think about how your team might describe you? Good. I’ve put together a list of “bad boss” behaviors so you can see if you’re guilty of being a bad boss.

  1. Your Business is a Revolving Door. Recruiting, hiring and training new employees is timely and expensive. When you make the investment in new team members, you naturally hope they will stay. So if you find your employees exiting shortly after they arrive, maybe it’s your leadership style. There are always extenuating circumstances, but if it happens repeatedly, it may be time to look in the mirror.
  2. Bored to Tears. As the founder of a business, it’s difficult to let go of responsibilities when you bring on new team members. After all, you know better than anyone how to get it done correctly. Right? To build a successful business you must be ready to let go to grow. Team members want to be given the opportunity to flourish. If they don’t have enough to do or they aren’t engaged, they’ll be bored to tears. You’ll wind up paying them while they search for their next job with a better boss.
  3. Quick to Criticize. Of course, you expect your team members to do a good job. That’s what you pay them for, after all. But if you’re quick to criticize when they do something wrong, and fail to compliment when they do something well, you’ll definitely be labeled a bad boss. Offering sincere praise for a job well done goes a long way in building a loyal team.
  4. All in the Family. When you work with a very small team, it’s easy to build close relationships. You get to know each other’s families and you often socialize outside the office. However, one of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is getting too close to your employees. You are the boss, and they aren’t your best friends or family members. Keep a healthy distance when it comes to personal matters. Delving too deeply into their lives or sharing too much of your own can create an unhealthy work environment.

A great team is a valuable small business asset. Make sure you’re a great team leader. Don’t let your small business suffer because you’re a bad boss.

Susan Solovic, The Small Business Expert is an award-winning entrepreneur, an attorney, a New York Times best-selling author, a media personality and a highly sought after keynote speaker.


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank or its affiliates.