All posts by Melinda Longoria, MSM

Author – Masters of Science in Business Management with Leadership studies from Texas A&M University.

Dropping the Bomb: How a Bad Boss Delivers Bad News to Employees

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Dropping the Bomb: How a Bad Boss Delivers Bad News to Employees

Drop Bomb

It’s a fact that being a bad boss is not easy, especially when you need to deliver bad news to your employees.

Typical reasons for needing to deliver bad news to employees, include:

  • Firings
  • Legal Issues
  • Product Recalls
  • Large Scale Layoffs
  • Untimely Departure of an Executive

As you will notice, there are three critical techniques in delivering any bad news to an employee and that is to deliver the message FAST, don’t apologize, and always make your exit swiftly. Do not remain in the room as this will only cause the employee more stress as they try to choke back their tears in front of you. Never admit any blame or apologize for any grievance. Avoiding questions is in everyone’s best interest to minimize confrontation.

  1. With the bad boss, there is always the direct approach when delivering bad news to employees, “You’re all fired. There are empty boxes lining this wall for a reason; use them, people!” Hand an empty box to the nearest employee standing next to you. Don’t apologize and make your exit swiftly.
  2. SANDWICH the bad news into the conversationSandwichFor a softer approach, start by saying something positive, slip the negative statement in quickly, and then close with a distraction. Try this for an example, “Thank you all for coming in to work today, our office is closing and your last check will be delivered Friday, we’re providing Pizza for lunch for those who finish the week with us”. Make your exit swiftly to avoid questions.
  3. Politician Approach – If you somehow become trapped in an uncomfortable situation where questions fly your way by disgruntled employees, just deny everything like a politician! “What are you talking about? No, we did not promise free Pizza for lunch today, but you will get your paychecks”. Your goal was to get the employees to work till Friday; mission accomplished. Remember, you have two different party’s interests at heart, that of the employee and of upper management. But, for the bad boss, upper management comes first and that might take a little lying.
  4. Let them find out from others… Still don’t like the idea of communicating to your employees or the potential confrontation? There is always the option to allow your employees find out the company is going out of business from outsiders, the news, or your public press release. This tactic is especially effective if you feel that your staff might jump ship early if they are tipped off about the bad news. You could also let them continue to blissfully work unaware of the pending danger, and then place a note on the locked doors for them to encounter upon arriving to work on Friday.
  5. Corporate jargon deliverance speech: Is your superior in some amount of bad publicity due to his or her unexplained and untimely exit? Avoid hurting the entire company’s morale by keeping this questionable detail to yourself. Instead of telling the truth, the best way to deliver this news is with a departmental or company-wide speech that is filled with very confusing corporate jargon. “Despite what you may hear in the news, we are encouraging a new green initiative and Bill has graciously volunteered to be our first work-from-home executive”. As always, make your exit swiftly.

Or you could deliver good news in person, and bad news in Email:

Disclaimer: Bad Boss posts are meant for entertainment purposes only and are not to be taken seriously.

The Argumentative Boss

SONY DSC

The Argumentative Boss

Have you ever worked for an argumentative boss? The argumentative boss is prone to creating conflict and arguments within his or her department.

So, you want to be an argumentative boss?

Question Everything – Your employees will fantasize about hiding under their desks if you question their every move. Ask lots of questions! “Did you spell check that document before you sent it? Are you sure it’s broken? Have you contacted IT about the issue? When will my package arrive? Why is it late? Did you tell UPS about the issue? Why are you wearing red shoes today?”

As you question everything, ask your employee to check again, or do the task again. They must have done it wrong the first time.

Agree with Nothing – Disagree with any response that is provided to your endless inquiries. If your employee says one thing, tell them another. They are wrong, you are right, always; period. End of discussion, until it causes an argument, which was your goal in the first place.

It’s Always your Idea – Never meet in the middle. Never admit that you are wrong. Never admit that they are right. Learn to say, “You did that wrong”. Manipulate the circumstances to make them think it was your idea. Once they learn to give you credit for everything, life for them will become much less taxing.

Start Arguments – Do you want people to stay out of your way? Start arguments that will cause people, everyone, to avoid you. Your employees will try to solve their own problems. They will avoid telling you about errors and fix them before mentioning anything to you. When something goes wrong, they will sweep it under the rug.

Hold your Ground – If an argument arises, you have won! Hold your ground during the argument. Don’t back down. Insist that it’s your way or the highway. Employees don’t agree with some new policy that you’ve implemented without their consent? It does not matter to you. Use write-ups as a form of intimidation to get your way. If someone confronts you, write them up.

Follow these steps and you will soon create a department that is chaotic and disorderly.

Learn how to Argue like a 3 Year Old

Disclaimer: Bad Boss posts are meant to be humorous and should not be taken seriously.

New Study Results: Everybody Suffers Under a Bully Boss

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New Study Results: Everybody Suffers Under a Bully Boss

Photo by One Way Stock
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulbrigham/

Bully bosses are toxic! Their abusive speech and other bad behavior spreads like a virus, infecting the whole office.

Bully bosses communicate by losing their temper, yelling, and belittling their subordinates.  Often a bully boss will single out one employee to take out their negativity or aggression. If you’ve ever had to experience the abuse of a bully boss, you know how draining it can be.

However, the whole team will suffer at the hands of a bully boss, according to a new study by a team of researchers at Michigan State University. The study showed that the entire team suffers when a bully boss picks on just one employee.

How does the team suffer? Their productivity decreases as a direct result of verbal abuse and/or demeaning E-mails from the bully boss. Not only does a targeted employee suffer, but the whole team falls into conflicts which results in a loss of productivity.

“Teams characterized by relationship conflict,” lead investigator Crystal Farh said in a press release, “are hostile toward other members, mistreat them, speak to them rudely and experience negative emotions toward them.”

The whole group’s attitudes and behaviors start to reflect those of the bully boss as they act in a similar and hostile manner toward one another. The sobering truth is that everyone suffers at the hand of a bully boss.

When this happens, the company loses big time because now the whole team requires interpersonal relationships to be repaired. Trust among group members will have to be rebuilt as well.

Resources:

  • Entis, Laura. (2014) Bosses Who Pick on One Employee Ruin Everyone’s Productivity, Study Shows. Retrieved on September24, 2014 from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237110.
  • Farh, Crystal & Andy Henion. (2014). Abusive Leadership Infects Entire Team. Retrieved on September 24, 2014 from http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/abusive-leadership-infects-entire-team/.
  • Farh, Crystal & Chen Z. (2014). Beyond the Individual Victim: Multilevel Consequences of Abusive Supervision in Teams. Retrieved on September 24, 2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25111251.

The Boss from Hell…The Bully

Disclaimer: Working for a bully boss is distressing. Do you have a real life experience working for a bully boss? Please tell us about it in the comments below.

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The Untrustworthy Boss

HP.com (Hewlett-Packard)

untrustworthy boss

The Untrustworthy Boss

Follow these simples steps to become the most untrustworthy boss that ever lived…

Dangle some carrots in front of your employee’s faces. That’s right. Get them to work longer hours and more productively by telling them they will get a raise if they do X, or meet a goal of Y. The department budget, that you were given, doesn’t even have room for employee raises, but they do not need to know this bit of information. If someone gets a little rowdy about paperwork, just say that you submitted a request to your boss and are waiting to hear back (but you never did). “My hands are tied”.

Never tell your employees what you think. Is the company going under at a more rapid rate than upper management is admitting? Respond with this little gem, “There’s no truth to those layoff rumors”. Keep your employees in the dark about the impending danger because it will only cause a frenzy of people leaving the company. Do they need to know that their jobs will no longer be available in another month? No. It is your job to keep them working ignorantly and blissfully at their desks.

Tell some lies. Say something like, “I’m paying you a competitive salary”. Always assume that your employees are dumb about the internet. They will not research average salary ranges and find out what people in their position are making. But, even if they do find out that their salary is way less than it should be, they’ll just assume that you are misinformed.

Always be concerned with your own advancement; not your employee’s advancement. . . but to them you say, “My job is to make you more successful”. They will surely believe that you are looking out for their best interests. In truth, you’re thinking to yourself, “Your job is to make ME more successful”. Always take credit for a job well done and place the blame around the room when something goes wrong.

Exercise your hidden motives. Need to eliminate an employee? Let’s just say his name is Rob. Try this tactic to get rid of Rob. You overhear Rob telling another employee about his coveted concert tickets for Saturday. Call an office meeting and tell everyone in your department that the paperwork is backing up. You’ll need anyone who can volunteer to stay for some extra weekend hours. “Your participation is completely voluntary”. When Rob doesn’t show up with the rest of the group Saturday, place a pink slip on his desk Monday morning.

Conduct some shady office romance. Nothing says untrustworthy like a boss who messes around on his wife with the office loosey goosey. According to Time Magazine, only three percent of successful men divorce their wives and marry the office tramp. So, go ahead and tell that hot mess that you’ll divorce your wife and marry her. She’ll believe it and you’ll feel better. Don’t worry about the distraction and morale killer that this is having on everyone underneath you; or your clients who may be wondering if you handle your business like you handle your marriage.

Always swear to confidentiality. Want to know what your employees REALLY think about you? Send around a survey which asks employees for their opinions of the company and management. Tell them that their responses will be confidential. All the while, you know that they signed away their privacy rights the moment they signed their employment contract. Now, your employee’s opinions are instantly yours. Realistically, you wouldn’t do this to your employees because you’re an untrustworthy boss; you probably don’t even care what they think anyway.

How To Tell The Perfect Lie

Disclaimer – Bad boss posts are meant to be humorous and should not be taken seriously. Have you worked for a boss who has a problem lying? Please tell us about it by contacting us HERE or leave your comments below.

HP.com (Hewlett-Packard)