Ep 49 // I Used to Be a #HorribleBoss - Here’s How I Became Better (It’s Not Too Late)
Nothing kills productivity like a toxic work environment. When employees don’t feel psychologically safe at work, leaders need to look inward to try and find answers. This episode focuses on what a toxic work environment looks like, why a horrible boss could be to blame, and how founders and leaders can cultivate self-awareness and identify what can be changed to help employees flourish in the workplace.
According to leadership coach (and a former horrible boss herself) Akua Nyame-Mensah, there are two kinds of horrible bosses: those who know they are horrible and don’t care, and those who are completely unaware that they are too blame for a bad working environment.
Listen all the way to the end for ways to tell if you are - or have - a horrible boss and three actionable steps leaders can take to impact the workplace positively and help keep employees mentally healthy, happy, and more productive. Horrible bosses can be cured!
Highlights in this Episode:
- Akua talks about what a toxic work culture looks like, including fighting, drama, and unhappiness, which affect wellbeing and productivity.
- Realizing there is a problem is the first step, and
- A toxic work environment can include remote work, not just in-office work.
- When employees are bullied, they don’t feel safe to be themselves or show up in a meaningful way.
- Don’t wait for negative feedback to find out you’re a terrible boss. Educate yourself.
- Bad communication/passive-aggressive communication is a sign of a horrible boss.
- Excluding some employees, gossip and cliques are other red flags in the workplace.
- Deadline changes, moving the goalpost, and a lack of expectation setting will have a negative effect on employees.
- Some symptoms of a bad boss in the workplace include unmotivated employees, stifled growth, and rapid turnover.
- In order to change, leaders must first have self-awareness and reflect on how they show up and how their actions affect others.
- Akua talks about her definition of a leader - someone who ensures every team member has what they need to do meaningful work.
- Good leadership means making time to check in and getting external feedback from those who are not in an equivalent position as you.
- Good bosses set realistic goals, can ask for help (be vulnerable), are willing to engage, and invest in policies and procedures from the beginning.
- For a positive work environment, be sure to educate everyone and ensure your team is on the same page.
- Don’t be afraid to look for help - Akua would love to have a consultation call with you, and she can help provide resources or work with you, your choice.
Resources Mentioned in this episode:
Article on toxic work environment from Career Contessa