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10 Things We Bosses (Used To) Hate


I admit it – I didn’t like employees when I was a boss and they certainly didn’t like me either. No wonder I’m a solo practitioner. Consulting with my physician clients, I hear the entire gamut of employee issues. However, I truly believe the best medical practices out there do the best at human resources (i.e. handling their people). So, I preach constantly about physician and administrator “bosses” taking responsibility for ensuring that their employees feel great about what they do at work. Quite frankly however it is a two-way street.

It is really hard for a 'boss' or leader to give you his or her best if you, the employee, keeps getting in the way of being a 'great employee'. My mother always said "don't bite the hand that feeds you." And at a bare minimum one thing an employer should be able to expect from an employee is 'teamwork.'

I have worked for and seen some really great managers and I have also worked for and seen some terrible one’s in the 25+ years I’ve been working with physician medical practices. I have been both a boss and an employee – so I have seen both sides of the fence.

It is true that a third of people leave a workplace simply because ‘they feel they are not noticed’, according to the Gallup Organization. I wonder how many employees say they ‘hate their boss’, either privately, in group conversations, or God forbid social media. But the shoe could just as easily be on the other foot. What if the employee is a royal pain in the ass, a bad hire, or he or she has just got cynical with the years. If an employee doesn’t like their boss – maybe the boss doesn’t like you either.

Dr. Susan Nicholson: Organizational psychologist and partner at Mentors Psychology has researched the ten things a boss hates about employees:

  1. You’re unreliable. Missing deadlines, saying one thing and doing another and has an excuse for everything – bosses hate that. They just want you to get the job done and on time.
  2. You won’t fess up to mistakes. Blaming the other person or trying to cover mistakes up, instead of just owning up to it and working out how to fix it. This shows that someone is weak of character if they don’t take responsibility. Which ultimately is the ‘number one career killer’.
  3. You gossip too much. On Facebook, Instant Messenger or at the coffee machine – it doesn’t matter how. Talking about people behind their back, stirring up trouble or undermining what the boss is setting out to achieve.
  4. Nothing’s ever good enough for you. I call this one the black hat! They are going to rain on anyone’s parade just because they can. The employee who constantly gripes, points out that new ideas are destined to fail or sits in meetings scowling and smirking. Negativity is like a cancer – spreading and rotting what the positive people are achieving. It perpetuates an ‘us versus them mentality.’
  5. You hate change. I could not imagine what it would be like to work with people who love to grumble, and criticize new ideas and processes.
  6. You smell. A very sensitive subject. Too much perfume is just as much of a problem as B/O. Both are too dominant in the workplace. Very tricky to deal with. Talking about dress and appearance is really, really hard for a boss – and quite frankly they should not have to. Remember dress (tribal wear) for your next promotion. If you want to be a manager – dress like one – don’t dress like a student.
  7. You’re always late. Tardiness, sick days or long lunches add up, and bosses notice – especially if you then lie about it. Don’t think your boss doesn’t notice if you are constantly cutting corners. Bosses don’t like people who appear to be doing the bare minimum. They want people who are not only productive but are coming up with ideas on how to do things better. If people are late to work, late to meetings, late back from lunch – it shows bosses that something else is way more important than their job.
  8. You’re over-eager. The worst one of these is when the boss is copied in on every email that the employee writes. In the end this makes more work for the manager. The job of the employee is not to add to work load of the boss.
  9. You run your personal life from your desk. Stealing time is as bad as stealing from the stationery cupboard. You might think it is only an hour here or there on eBay, Flickr and YouTube – but it really makes your co-workers mad. Realizing that your time is a scarce resource that you apply to the greater cause of your work place will give a whole new meaning to productivity.
  10. You’re a bully. Officially any business (and medical practice) needs to have an anti-discrimination policy. Bullying includes needless swearing in the office, making threats…bosses want happy peaceful teams, not dominating or passive-aggressive ones.

So next time you want to complain about your boss – spare a moment first to think ‘I wonder what I’m doing to bother them?’ What goes around does eventually come around, and people who are liked are the ones who get the promotions. Think about it.

Reed Tinsley, CPA is a Houston-based CPA, Certified Valuation Analyst, and Certified Healthcare Business Consultant. He works closely with physicians, medical groups, and other healthcare entities with managed care contracting issues, operational and financial management, strategic planning, and growth strategies. His entire practice is concentrated in the health care industry. Please visit

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Reed Tinsley, CPA
21175 Tomball Parkway #194, Houston, TX 77070
P. 281-379-5988 | F. 281-605-5701
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