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5 Most Common Employee Complaints About Their Boss

5 Most Common Employee Complaints About Their Boss
Andreas Slotosch
Andreas Slotosch, Chief Growth Officer
3 min read
It’s only natural for employees to have complaints about company leadership, but it might surprise you that some of the most common employee complaints involve communication. Luckily, most of the complaints are easy to fix:

1. Not Recognizing Employees

Employees complain that company leadership doesn’t recognize their accomplishments. That complaint lines up with recent studies. According to Employee Benefits Magazine, 20% of employees never receive a thank you from their employers. The fix? Just say thanks. In an HBR article, Duke Energy’s CEO is credited with leaving sticky notes in employees’ offices with a simple thank you. Sometimes that’s all your employee wants.

2. Not Recognizing Employees

No, that isn’t a typo. Not recognizing employees is more than not recognizing their accomplishments. Many employees claim that their bosses don’t recognize them period! While it may not be possible for those in the executive suite to know every single employee’s name, bosses should know the name of every one of their direct reports. In a Business Insider article, 36% of employees surveyed reported that this was an issue. The fix? Make a point of memorizing the names of the employees that report to you.

3. Not Providing Clear Direction

Employees don’t like having to guess what their bosses want. The fix? Clear and concise direction goes a long way when bosses are communicating with employees. Instead of assuming your employees know what you want and how you want it, tell them. It will reduce frustration for employees and you.

4. Not Having Time for Employees

Many companies tout an “open door policy” that welcome employees to reach out to upper management, but very few companies actually follow through. Employees find that when they try to use that open door policy, either with an in-person visit or simply a phone call, they aren’t able to. Instead they get turned away or sent to voicemail. The fix? Be proactive and go to your employees, making yourself available for more personal forms of communication.

5. Taking Credit for Other’s Ideas

For some employees, the only time they interact with their bosses is when their ideas are stolen. In fact, in that Business Insider article 47% of respondents claimed a superior has taken credit for their idea. The article does point out that bosses don’t always do that intentionally, but the employees don’t know that. The fix? Always find time to give proper credit. These complaints may not seem like much to managers and bosses, but they are real concerns of employees. Improving communication between employees and bosses is often much easier than you might think. If any of these common employee complaints hit home, consider trying the simple fixes. It doesn’t take much to make a big difference.

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