Bad bosses in small towns

Are You Bad Boss?? Would you know if you were? Would anyone tell you?
Or are you the kind of boss people want ​to work for?

        Bad Bosses  are bigger problem in small towns than one would think.

Carmen, Dale, Jens and Me

I was a Horrible Boss. I didn’t know I was. At least not until a 16 yr old told with more pluck than the grown ups asked me is I was always ‘like that?’.

Statistically 75% of people will quit a job, even if they love what they do, on account of a bad boss. (I have.) According to a study, 19.2 hours a week is spent worrying about bad bosses. Employees who have bosses they don’t like are 60% more likely to have a heart attack- that’s a staggering number! (Journal of Occupational Medicine)

Research on “The Damage Inflicted by Poor Managers” by the Gallup Organization shows that “actively disengaged” employees outnumber engaged employees almost two-to-one. Disengagement corresponds with lower productivity, loyalty, and profitability, and higher rates of absenteeism, ​safety incidents, and employee turnover, which “can cost badbusinesses approximately 1.5 times the annual salary of every person who quits.

In my early 20’s we bought a cafe in a small town. Very small- 98 people… We bought it sight unseen on a handshake at a football game (We didn’t realize that our handshake was sealing the deal until we actually went to go see it… but that’s another story!)

It seemed I had a very bad habit of micro-managing every…single…little…thing.  I will claim youth as my defense, but it is really no excuse at all.  Thankfully I learned my lesson and became a good boss.  You would think I would have already known better since my dad constantly reminded us to  “inspire someone today

Working in a city, it is usually no big deal to simply quit a job, because there are so many more to choose from. Even if it’s not your dream job or it doesn’t pay as well, there are multiple jobs to be had.

In a small town, the pickings can be very slim. Most folks who work in a small town stay in that job no matter what. No matter how  much they may dislike the way their boss acts, they know that there’s probably not another job in town. 

Bosses may not even know they’re behaving badly. (I didn’t)  Other ones take great pride in being real jerks. I do not believe that are specific guidelines for being ‘bad’, but I’m sure we’ve all experienced one at some point!

Being the “BB” in a small town can nearly cripple a business. Maybe your not being able to find employees or retain customers is personal. Aside from not being able to fill shifts, employees usually tell anyone who will listen what a bad boss they have… Other people thinking you are a bad person is bad for business. Word gets around in a small town and most people by nature will avoid someone they perceive to be bad. Reduced productivity is another side effect- many employees will just go through the motions and do their time.

Being the boss someone wants to work for is a great experience. For you, your

Tony, me & Dale hosting a ‘harvest party’ for the local farmers

employees and the community at large.  A good boss empowers their employees to make good decisions and inspires them to be better. A good boss is also approachable, fair but firm. A good boss is willing to listen to and try new ideas.  Happy employees can change the dynamics of a business.  Happy employees reflect good leadership, and their satisfaction shows in how they interact with customers, suppliers, and everyone else they come in contact with. And people are more likely return to places where they had positive experiences.

16 yr old Jens taught me to relax about some things ~
“What’s the worst that can happen? … just chill and let me do my job”

That was my eye-opener.

So- What kind of a boss are YOU?


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