Guest post by Indiana Lee

Being a good leader is no easy task. You’re responsible for helping your employees reach their goals, fostering a positive workplace environment, and pushing for productivity without alienating anyone.

Finding a management style that works for you is important; however, your style should never come at the expense of employee happiness. You might have habits in place that are causing your employees to hate you without you realizing it!

The best thing you can do is to recognize some of those actions, so you can put a stop to them right away and shift your style. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can unwittingly make your employees hate your management style.

1. Micromanaging

There’s a big difference between showing individual attention and micromanaging. No one wants to feel like they’re being “watched” or judged every second of the day. If you try to control every aspect of your employees’ jobs, they’ll feel like you don’t trust them.

Micromanaging creates a lot of unnecessary pressure. It’s annoying, unproductive, and can create a toxic workplace environment. Your employees will also have a harder time being creative and coming up with fresh ideas when they’re worried you won’t trust their judgment.

2. Withholding Recognition

Everyone wants to feel appreciated for their work. One recent survey found that for 37% of employees, recognition is the most important factor when it comes to overall morale. Employee recognition boosts retention, improves productivity, and creates a more positive work environment. If you’re not regularly letting your employees know how much you value them, they could feel unappreciated and burnt out.

Looking for ideas that can give your staff a boost? Don’t be afraid to get creative with some of the following:

  • In-person parties
  • Virtual parties
  • Social media praise
  • Surprise “treats” at their desk
  • A “wall of fame” in the office
  • Extra time off

Even something as small as a certificate of appreciation can go a long way. Most of the time, employees aren’t looking for anything extravagant – they simply want to be recognized for their hard work.

3. Failure to Create a Healthy Work Environment

A toxic work environment is one of the top reasons employees end up leaving. Maybe you’re not doing anything to directly contribute to an unhealthy environment. However, if you’re not stopping problems as they arise, you’re still guilty.

If employees feel physically or mentally unsafe at work, it won’t just affect their productivity. It can also impact their mental health, creating issues like:

  • Stress
  • Burnout
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Regularly check in with your staff and address any concerns immediately. When your employees know you take their work environment seriously, they’re more likely to feel a sense of security.

4. Lying

Lying is never the answer in any situation when it comes to working with your employees. They’re not stupid, and more often than not, they will get to the truth. Unfortunately, they’ll also tell everyone else you lied to them. That includes current and prospective employees, as well as family members and friends.

It could damage the reputation of your business, make you untrustworthy, and cause friction between you and other leaders.

Lying breaks down trust and will cause your employees to lose respect for you. That includes withholding clear information, as well. Be honest, open, and vulnerable with your employees, and you’ll receive the same in return.

5. Ruling Through Fear

Fear-based leadership can often feel more like a workplace dictatorship. Threatening your employees’ jobs, only focusing on transactions, and consistently promoting sycophants are all fear tactics that create anxiety, tension, and distrust in a company – all of which are toxic.

Instead of focusing on this kind of leadership, consider a transformational style. Transformational leaders show a deep sense of care for their employees. They create an environment where everyone works to build each other up, rather than living in fear. They provide inspirational motivation and individualized consideration for every employee.


As a leader, you have a lot on your plate. However, the last thing you want is to establish a style or characteristics that make your employees dread working for you. Keep these traits in mind and take a look at how you’re running your business. If any sound familiar, it’s time to make a change.

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