Supervisor Newsletter - August 2018

Are You a Bad Boss?

Studies indicate that 50 percent of employees have quit a job because of a bad boss. Find out if you meet the description for any of the 9 most common complaints about bad bosses. Then, learn how Personal Assistance Service can help.

I saw an online article that said bad bosses can make employees sick. What supervisor-related issues affect employees most?

Studies indicate that 50% of employees have quit a job because of a bad boss. One study reported that 75% consider their boss a major source of stress, but most have no plans to quit. The health issue is stress. Here's a list of common complaints from a Harris Poll in order of severity:

  1. not recognizing employee achievements;
  2. not giving clear directions;
  3. not having time to meet with employees;
  4. refusing to talk with subordinates,
  5. taking credit for others' ideas;
  6. not offering constructive criticism;
  7. not knowing an employee's name;
  8. refusing to talk with people on the phone or in person; and
  9. not asking about employees' lives outside of work.

Nearly all of these complaints fall in the realm of communication, and some you may find surprising. For example, employees want you to know more about them personally. Do any apply to you? PAS can help you become a better supervisor on any of these issues.

Can PAS advise our management group on the possible psychological effects of a pending disciplinary action on an employee who is not a client of PAS?

PAS could discuss a manager's concern about a pending decision to use disciplinary action to help him or her gain clarity, offer support in managing stress associated with the decision, or address personal fears. However, PAS would not render a psychological judgment in general regarding the risk of a disciplinary action. Doing so interferes with management processes and violates an ethical boundary of non-interference by PAS. If PAS engaged in this process, it could be viewed as authorizing, consenting to, approving, and/or sanctioning the decision. This could produce division within your management group if PAS was counter to the opinion of others. Some managers might agree, while others may not. Management might feel forced to accept whatever PAS recommended. This bind would potentially compromise PAS's ability to attract employees and managers. A consult with Duke Human Resources' Staff and Labor Relations, a third-party consultant, or other management advisors should be considered.

Can you give me a basic formula for writing a corrective action letter - a one that explains step-by-step what to include?

It is important to document specific details in a corrective action letter. You should send the letter to your department head and HR representative for approval prior to giving the letter to the employee. Here are some of the key elements to include in a corrective action letter:

  • Include date incident occurred.
  • Cite the specific behavior that was seen, heard, said, etc.
  • Mention negative effects or outcome of incident on immediate work unit or operation.
  • State unacceptability of event/incident and why it is unacceptable.
  • Reference any similar past events. For example, ___.
  • State larger impact and effect on productivity for organization.
  • State that you are anticipating this won't happen again.
  • Invite employee to meet and discuss issues, concerns, or precipitating events to prevent any future incident.
  • Provide a strong recommendation to visit PAS confidentially to discuss any problem that may be associated with the issue.
  • Give phone number to PAS.
  • Thank employee for attention to the matter.
  • Invite employee to discuss any other concerns.
  • Copy next-level supervisor and HR representative.

This is one example of a structured letter with essential elements. However, your HR department may also have recommendations for you.