Your employees might not tell you that they hate you, but there are many signs that will tip you off.

There might be reasons for it. Whether you’re lacking in soft-communication skills that create warm fuzzies or you’re simply an out-and-out tyrant, either way your employees will think you’re a bad boss.

You’ll be in the dark if they want to make sure they keep their jobs.

However, you’ll find out what employees think about you if you learn to enhance your EI, or emotional intelligence.

That’s the first step whether to improve your communication skills or to learn best practices in management.

(Scroll down to the Coach’s Corner for helpful hints.)

Obviously, it’s best if employees respect you. They’ll have better morale which leads to creativity, teamwork, productivity and profits.

If you’re a manager it also minimizes the likelihoods of you getting fired, or with employees filing complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If employees dislike you, here are the red flags:

1. Your instinctive feeling

Consider what your gut tells you. Perhaps you don’t know why you’re uncomfortable, but you simply feel something’s amiss with your relationships.

2. Employees aren’t enthusiastic

If it appears they’re not enthusiastic about pitching in on projects or they don’t seem diligent in their work, that’s a sign.

3. High rate of tardiness, absenteeism

Employees, who are often late, take long breaks, leave early or don’t show up at work because they’re sick or stressed, it’s often because they don’t like your company.

4. Employees avoid you

People avoid a boss when they feel intimidated or they don’t like the person. For instance, employees might turn their back when you’re nearby or head for the stairs when you’re near the elevator.

5. Poor eye contact

If you have an employee who maintains good eye contact with others but not with you, it’s not a good sign. Weak eye contact makes it easier for them to hide their contempt for you.

6. Employees don’t smile around you

If employees habitually don’t smile when with you but smile or laugh with others, you’ve likely got a problem.

A related omen: If employees stop smiling or joking when you enter the room. They obviously don’t feel comfortable with you.

7. You’re not included in social events 

If you’re not invited to happy hours or other get-togethers, your employees indirectly are telling you they want to minimize their time spent with you.

8. Negative body language

You know what it means when someone constantly folds their arms or when their eyes glaze over when you talk, right?

9. Employees are abrupt

Try an experiment by cordially greeting your employees. If on Monday you ask them how their weekend was or how their day is going, if they always say “fine,” you’ve got troubles.

10. Their preferred communication is email

Unhappy workers will minimize their personal contact with you. This is especially true if their emails don’t have a greeting, such as “hi” or “hello.”

11. Their office door is usually closed

A frequently closed door usually means the person is on the phone looking for another job, commiserating with friends or family, or asking someone for advice.

12. Consistent disagreement

Aggressive personalities are less likely to avoid you. But they don’t refrain from conversations because they want to argue with you.

It’s also possible they aren’t afraid of personality clashes because they’re sick and tired of working for a tyrant. Whoa.

13. Employees are quitting without offering a good reason

To paraphrase an axiom: People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their boss. If, on exit interviews, employees don’t cite a reason, it’s often because they don’t like or respect you. Ouch.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant topics:

How to Grow Your EI for Leadership Success — Emotional intelligence (EI) is important for communication and leadership. A person who has EI is able to evaluate, understand, and control emotions.

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism — Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem.

10 Tips to Plan for Your Critical Discussions with Employees — Careful planning is necessary before you give an employee an appraisal or in advance of terminating the person. Here are 10 tips.

‘That’s the Way It Is’ – Often a Lazy Reaction to Employees — When employees question your policies, don’t let your ego dictate how you react to them. Consider it as though they’re merely questioning you. They just might be positive change agents for you. So here’s how to profit from change agents.

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

5 Quick Management Tips to Motivate Your Employees — A major quandary for managers is to bring out the best in their employees. Every manager wants to do it, but it’s not always easy. What’s the reason? Usually, it’s because employees are disengaged – disconnected from their managers and companies. Here’s how to fix it.

The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate you away from those who are still undecided.


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.