When Did Bosses Forget How to Be Nice?

Look, I get it. Business is business and we shouldn’t take things personally…

The problem is when you take your job seriously – when you’re not simply doing a half-assed job just to get a salary at the end of each month – and give it your all for 8 + hours every day, then it becomes more than just a job. It’s a career. It’s time away from your family. It’s a big chunk of your life.

For me, I kind of expect something more than just a salary at the end of each month. But maybe that’s just me. Then again, most bosses (the ones that I’ve worked for anyway) tend to expect miracles from every one of their employees. And that’s fine. I get it. It’s their company and they want things done a certain way.

But tell me something, when did the majority of them forget how to be nice about it?

Is there no time in the the business world to have manners anymore or to care about a company’s biggest asset – its employees?

My husband told me the other day that I have an impossible expectation of what a boss is supposed to be. For all intents and purposes, he’s not completely wrong. But he’s not right either. I don’t think my expectations are ludicrous.

For example, if an employee screws up, I don’t think a boss should yell and scream about it to make an example out of this said person just because they’re stressed about their business. Gosh, if an employee had to throw a tantrum like that, there would almost certainly be a warning letter or a formal HR “chat.”

When I was 24 I had the most incredible boss. I was a secretary back then and on Fridays he’d let me leave the office at 14h30. He was friendly and made polite conversation, but he also let me know in no uncertain terms when I’d messed something up. I knew where I stood with him and the respect went both ways.

One thing that still to this day ceases to amaze me is why bosses don’t say the words, “Thank you” enough. Or  even a “good job”, a friendly pat on the shoulder or a thumbs up when you’ve done your job well. Obviously I’m not talking about that happening every day… I mean that’s just silly. But when you really work hard and take pride in what you do, is that really too much to ask?

You’d be surprised by how many employees leave a well-paid job because they feel like their bosses don’t care about them. No, it’s not pre-school and they’re not there to hold hands, but like I said before, respect works both ways in the office. Or so it should.

Many might argue that bosses don’t have the time to be nice. Bosses are busy running businesses. I get that. But guess what, many of their staff members are busy doing the same thing. They’re bringing their A game to work every day because they love their job and want to make a success out of their careers and see the company do well.

The definition of “nice” bosses

By now you might be wondering what I’m referring to by “nice”. Well, let’s see… My definition of a nice boss, is someone who:

  • Greets their employees instead of ignoring them until the paw paw hits the fan
  • Has more or less an open-door policy
  • Trusts their employees instead of micromanaging them
  • Practices giving compliments as much as they do criticism – or constructive criticism
  • Doesn’t walk all over their employees, but doesn’t let them walk all over them either
  • Sees their employees as assets – not numbers

Is it just me? Do I really expect too much from a boss, or does anyone else feel the same way? I’d really like to hear some feedback/opinions on this one…

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