13 Warning Signs of a Bad Boss or Manager (Maybe You’re That One)

Last updated on October 18th, 2022 at 06:25 pm

A ‘Leader’ can be great or weak, but the ‘Boss’ remains the boss, forever.

And if your boss being toxic and unprofessional in an office environment, then check out these warning signs of a bad boss now.

So that, you can avoid them as possible as you could.

And, if you’re in the lead, you can compare yourself with such signs to consider whether you’re one of them or not?


Well, most employees often complain about their evil bosses.

And that’s a normal thing. 

But, instead of labeling someone as an ‘unprofessional boss’ due to personal issues and few details, it’s better to have some early signs of a bad boss that can be seen from regular office experiences and events. 

Whether you want to check, if you have an unprofessional boss or manager, or if you are the boss and want to know why you are treated as a bad boss, then here are the sure signs you want to confirm first. 

Knowing these you know what to do to handle your toxic boss.

And, if you are the boss then such signs will help you to change your bossy image and to be a good leader (not a boss) for your team. 


13 Terrible Signs of a Bad Boss or Manager (And You’re the one)

1. You are the narcissist boss. 

Hard to accept, but yes you are showing the most warning signs of a narcissist boss. 

You are completely self-centered and can’t think of anyone else, over you.

Your people and team players are tired of listening to your regular opinions, lectures about you, and your expectations and desires. 

Everything you say and do, you expect your people to appreciate you.

You don’t hear them actively and are only interested to just talk and looking better than others.  

You easily blame others when things are not going as your plan.

But, when everything is going excellent, you don’t hesitate to take advantage of their efforts. 

When instead of saying “we”, you use “I, me and myself” more often in your talk, that are signs you’re a bad boss who is a narcissist, too. 


2. You micromanage a lot. 

Do you lack trust in your employee’s or team player’s ability? Do you have to check their progress and work reports too frequently?

Then these are the perfect signs that you are a micromanager. 

It is perfectly fine that you care for your company and also the profit, of course.

But, not trusting your employees’ ability and keeping a watch on their activity ultimately damages their work focus and dedication. 

Moreover, they also feel demotivated and frustrated, after knowing that they are under watch or doubted their abilities. 

When instead of focusing on important business operations, when you continuously interfere with their routine work, they are warning signs you are a bad boss for your people.

Check other: 9 Signs of Incompetence At Work (And What To Do About It)


3. You only have negatives to talk about your employees. 

Your ability to find the mistakes and errors from your submitted work is just exceptional.

Your employees are really surprised to know how you find their mistakes from the files which they thought are perfectly done.

Most of the time, your employees feel scared or confused and work under ‘Fear of failure’. 

Well, that’s not your superpower.

But, it’s you who are being negative and get attracted to the negative things only.

You are more interested to give them suggestions, than giving them an appreciation for their achievements. 

Giving feedback and suggestions to your employees is acceptable.

But, when you do not fully congratulate or appreciate them on their excellence and performances, those are signs of a bad boss your personality shows. 

Because you are an evil boss and great at making them feel tensed and obscure, rather than appreciated and encouraged. 


4. You have zero concern for employees’ careers.

Even after working for your company so long, your senior employees or managers feel unnoticed and unappreciated.

Because you have eyes for sales, profit and their contribution to your company only. 

Rather than knowing employees’ interests and expectations from the company, you are more interested in knowing, What they do to hold their position in the company.

As a bad boss, you have zero interest in knowing your employees’ work interests, and passion.

Similarly, you never do anything to feel them fully appreciated at work.

And, you have no idea or even interest to know, Are your employees happy and satisfied from the company or not?

All you can see there is, What they are doing for you, rather than what you’re doing for their contribution.

And these are warning signs of a bad boss, which perfectly describes that you are not a good leader

Check other: Signs You Need a Break From Boring Routine Life


5. You don’t take feedback/suggestions from your employees. 

You think you are the supreme of this company. Innerself, you don’t trust your employees and senior managers fully.

Results, you never seek their guidance and reviews on anything. 

Your people come to meetings just to listen to you and get the orders from you.

Because you have never asked for their views, suggestions, nor you show interest to know their opinions.

Lack of one-to-one communication, not appreciating one’s idea and your people feeling disconnected even after being in the small company. 

When you only expect your people to follow your orders, rather than express their opinions and suggestions then such are warning signs of a bad boss to prove that you’re one of them.

A boss who just knows to talk, than to listen to others. 


6. You have no long-term goals and strategies for your business. 

Even after being that curious plus worried over a company’s growth, you don’t have solid strategies for your company.

Your people and lead managers found hopeless when there is a challenging period. 

You show your negative side, even more, when things are not going as you planned.

You don’t ask for others’ opinions, but also don’t feel confident about your own, too. 

You are a bad boss, whose team players just know to nod their heads and nothing else.

Because that’s the system they have been obeying. 

When your people feel clueless even after several meetings with you, then believe these are perfect signs you are a bad boss or manager to them. 

You hide your business goals from those who have to be aware of them.

There is no transparency in your decisions and the company’s goals.

Because you don’t have the confidence to share your goals with your people, you are trying to keep it secret.

Your team is often found lost and miserable… Because you are a toxic boss who doesn’t have a clear vision to share.

Check other: 11 Signs You Didn’t Get The Job After The Interview


7. Your employees have to follow a list of rules and guidelines. 

Working under your leadership and in your team is like preparing for war.

Your people have to follow many rules and guidelines in the day-to-day work routine. 

Instead of setting flexible policies, you set the rules that apply to everyone, equally.

From taking leaves, to manage office hours to policies regarding remote work, you have your personal opinion for everything in your company. 

That’s fine, to some extent. 

But, the worst thing is you expect everyone to follow what you believe.

Even in special circumstances like emergencies or tragedies, you don’t minimize such rules and never go flexible with your rules. 

Results, your employees feel frustrated and less productive, because you don’t have the interest to know their perspective.

Why, because you are an ignorant boss. 


8. You completely have no respect for other’s time and priorities.  

No matter if it is a case of urgency or not, but you never hesitate to send them new tasks even after their work time. Like a bad boss, you have zero interest in their personal life and time outside the office. 

You send them to work emails and to-do lists without checking the time or even asking their availability. In most cases, you expect them to work overtime, even on the weekends. 

It’s perfectly acceptable that you are passionate about your work, but that doesn’t mean your people have to feel the same way. 

As toxic bad boss signs, you don’t give your employees enough time to relax at your job, but also don’t have respect for their life outside the office.

Check other: Signs It’s Time To Leave Your Job


9. You know most employees, by their ‘position’ and not their ‘actual name’. 

When your company has a large team in size and a lot of people working there, it’s hard for you to remember everyone’s name. And, that’s acceptable. 

But when you remember most people by their role or position in your company, then it means for you, they are just your employees and not more than that.

You are so busy checking the company’s progress reports, that you forget to make connections with those who are responsible for it. 

Even during the accidental meeting in an elevator or conference, you show very less interest to initiate the conversation and feel they are a valuable part of the company.  

These all are signs of a bad boss proves that you only have eyes for their contribution to your company.

Because you ignore your role as boss, manager, or leader of your people. 


10. As a bad boss, you can demotivate them. But, can’t inspire.

Working with a bad boss is tough for everyone, including immediate managers to operational-level employees. Not only because the decisions of a bad boss are hard to follow, but because they don’t know how to inspire others.

Of course, you are a bad boss when you can not motivate others to do what you want them to do.

Instead of inspiring them, you create a fearful environment to force them. 

Even though your ideas and suggestions are great to follow, you present that way that either demotivates your employees.

Because of the way you frustrate others, you can not inspire them that easily.

Check other: 9 Signs Your Boss Wants To Replace You


11. You are a perfectionist who can never be satisfied. 

Working with the perfectionist boss or manager is always troublesome for their employees.

A perfectionist just wants everything to be done perfectly. 

They don’t have concern for the right efforts, nor the basic standard requirements. It’s their imaginary level, which everyone is supposed to follow in work, anyhow. 

Perfection not only makes it harder for them to accomplish projects on time. But they also make it tough for their employees to follow their impossible rules and levels. 

When instead of valuing your people’s efforts and time, you are more interested to criticize them on their mistakes and shortcomings, than these are warning signs of a bad boss. 


12. You don’t think before saying. Because you’re the boss. 

Verbal abuse in corporate culture is the one negative side and the biggest turnoff for the dedicated employees.

When you keep yelling at other employees, publicly without much thinking, then it shows that you are an unprofessional boss.

Rather than thinking first, you just start shouting at their smallest mistakes.

When you don’t have control over your anger, your employees and team have to suffer a lot.

You are a bad boss when all you think of is about you and your business.

You can’t easily accept their mistakes. Even if there is room for improvement, you trying to put their confidence and morale down.

Check other: 15 Signs Your Boss Is Threatened By You


13. You want others to like and respect you.

Of course, you are the boss, but that doesn’t mean they are responsible to serve you 24×7.

When you force your employees to be perfect and passionate just like you then you are making it hard for them, to follow their individual roles and responsibilities.

Just like a narcissist boss, you like everyone to appreciate and respect you.

Because inner self you think that, you have a huge favor on them.

You don’t have respect for your people’s time and efforts, because you are more focused on the company’s profit and progress only.

Overall, you think like a boss and you act like a boss.

Indeed, you are boss… but that doesn’t mean you are boss of their life.

When you interfere with their personal life or do something to satisfy your egos, then such are signs of a bad boss that are easy to spot.


Have you ever thought of changing your image of a ‘Bad Boss’?

Well, there can be numerous reasons why someone is called an evil boss.

Also, the feeling of having an unprofessional boss is felt by not many but few in the companies. It’s fine because not everyone can be likable to every single person equally. 

Just like their opinions and abilities differ, their perspective on a person also changes.

But, when you relate with most of the discussed warning signs of a bad boss, then it’s sure that you may be a toxic boss for your people. 

And, the easiest sign to find whether you are a bad boss or not, is to check over personal thinking. 


Ask yourself, what makes you happier, having a large team to support, running a company of your dream, or only checking your monthly income reports? And you will have your answer Right.