Are you a toxic boss?


(Stock Photo)

Well, not you, of course. Those other bosses down the hall …

We asked employees from some of our largest local companies to share what they love in a boss — and what they definitely do not.

Here’s what we learned. #likeitornot

#LIKEABOSS: What employees love in a boss

  • Communication. We’re talking across the board — everything from the mission of the organization to letting us know when a meeting will be rescheduled. We want to know where we are going, and how we fit in.
  • Leads by example. A great boss should be the hardest working member of the team.
  • Collaboration. Someone who works with us to determine what needs to be done, rather than dictating (too much direction) or blind delegation (not enough).
  • Level-headedness. Someone who remains calm and collected under duress.
  • Problem solver. Someone who focuses on solutions rather than harping on the negativeGood listening skills. Someone who seeks to understand.
  • Promotes kindness. And patience. And HUMOR. #haha
  • All for one, one for all. When the team succeeds, a great boss gives team members all the credit; when the team fails, a great boss takes responsibility.
  • Tough conversations. If we don’t feel like we can present our concerns or have respectful disagreements, it makes the relationship more complicated and less productive.
  • Trusts employees. Give us ownership over projects.
  • Inspires. Help us improve and grow!
  • Offers consistent and regular feedback. How we doin’?
  • People first. Let us know we are more important than any mistake we might have made.
  • An advocate. Manage “up” as well as down.
  • Mentors. Willing to talk career paths.
  • Stays positive. Even during tough times, sees potential.
  • Someone who keeps an eye on workloads. Says “no” to the organization if the workload gets out of hand.
  • Transparency. And honesty, please! #truth
  • Shows appreciation. Both verbally and non-verbally.
  • Challenges us. Give us opportunities to take risks and swing for the fences (and sometimes fail).
  • Sets the tone. Preferably an enjoyable one.
  • Friendship. Someone who knows (and cares!) what’s going on in various areas of our lives.
  • Takes pride in hiring smart people. Don’t just prove that YOU are the smart person.
  • The ability to lead. See each team member as an individual and know how to utilize our particular skill sets.
  • Sets realistic, timely goals. Lay out clear expectations.
  • Flexibility. We are so grateful for bosses who value work-life balance and trust us to get the job done.
  • Someone who cares about our success. Don’t just focus on the success of the company.

#LIKEATOXICBOSS: What drives employees crazy in a boss

  • Eager to take credit, quick to pass blame.
  • Arrogance. Egos. Tantrums. Rudeness. Condescension.
  • Stays in their office. Avoids being part of the team.
  • Is the gossiper-in-chief.
  • Delegates duties without adequate training or support.
  • Insensitive to the needs of team members.
  • Hits the panic button. Big or small, everything’s a fire drill! #stopdropandrollyoureyes
  • Cynicism. Sometimes bosses gripe to their teams as a way to show solidarity, but it leads to a toxic environment.
  • Absent bosses and micromanagers. Both are less than ideal. Find the happy medium!
  • Someone who cares more about how much time I sit in my chair than the work I’m accomplishing. #timeout
  • Long-windedness — someone who cannot separate important details from the less important.
  • Criticizes us publicly.
  • Someone who offers no feedback.
  • Sets unrealistic goals.
  • Manages everyone as if they have the same personality.
  • Gives tasks with no clarity. And then is upset when we can’t read their minds.
  • Makes assumptions. Talk to us! We’ll tell you what’s up if you tell us what’s up.
  • Someone who is afraid to stand up for you as a team member — particularly with higher management.
  • Does not share reasonings for decisions they make and doesn’t get buy-in from the group.
  • Reschedules meetings often — it disrespects our time.
  • Power hungry — only cares about their own career.
  • Someone who is never willing to do the grunt work.
  • Creates a culture of distrust, disharmony, unhealthy competition, or fear.
  • Creates obstacles for us rather than removing them.
  • Someone who can’t enjoy the victories. There will ALWAYS be another goal to reach, but if you can’t celebrate the victories, you will lose employee morale. And fast.


Big thanks to the employees from these great companies for helping us compile these lists: Qualtrics, Provo, Domo, American Fork, Chatbooks, Provo, eLearning Brothers, American Fork, Complete Merchant Solutions and Orem.


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