In my Human Resource career I’ve had instances where an employee would come to me, and tell me they felt their boss was threatened by them. It is a difficult concept to understand until behaviors of the boss are observed, and recorded (an important step in correcting the problem). I’m not talking about physical threats.
The threat is subtle, takes some time to figure it out, and it creates an uncomfortable situation, as you can imagine. The situation can be so uncomfortable, and stressful, that the employee considers leaving their job (even though they may love it) to find other work.
Leaving a job the individual loves, and who does the job very well, to me, is a tragedy! These situations (where the employee loves their work, and does it well) are a “rare find” in the world of work. I’ve heard many more complaints from employees about their work, and bosses, than I’ve heard praises.
Here are some examples I’ve heard from employees about their bosses:
o Talking behind the employees back, or “back-biting”.
o Wasting employees’ time through unnecessary interaction, long meeting time that should have taken half the time or less.
o Questioning employee in a way that demeans the employee (not seeking information but using it to try and “catch” the employee in a mistake).
o Use of sarcasm.
o Abusing employee through a heavy workload
“Fixing” the problem is a difficult, and unless there is support from upper management, and HR, it is unfixable. It does take time in any situation, and unfortunately employees I’ve worked with, in most cases, have decided to seek employment elsewhere. Personally, I’ve always felt it was worth the effort to work at correcting the problem.