4 Reasons Why Workers Hate Their Bosses

By October 18, 2018 October 23rd, 2023 Articles on Leadership

Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

Have you ever felt like you hate your boss? Anyone who’s worked more than one job in their lifetime can say they’ve had some horrible bosses at some point. When you think about what made you hate your boss, chances are some pretty specific criteria come to mind.

Recently, BambooHR interviewed 1200 US workers to find out exactly what about their bosses made them tick. Combined with a 2003 Pew Research Center survey about top employee dislikes in a company, we can paint a pretty accurate picture of why employees hate their bosses—and how you can keep this from happening to you.

A bossy all-powerful king sits on a throne and depicts why workers hate their boss.

Boss Incompetence

No surprise, a big reason employees were unhappy at work was that they perceived their boss to be an incompetent leader. Hiring and promoting the wrong people was a big one—this is the mark of a weak leader and creates a system where weak leaders populate the top tiers of a company.

Another mark of a weak leader lies in how bosses treat their employees. Most employees in both surveys reported feeling overworked and underappreciated, and their boss played favorites instead of rewarding hard work. Never underestimate the value of being a strong leader—it might be the thing that keeps your employees happy.

Job Longevity

Many “hate your boss” factors have much to do with how long employees could see themselves staying at work. Factors such as unfair pay, poor job security, or lack of opportunity for advancement cause employees to resent their bosses, and it’s no wonder—it’s hard to feel valued when you can’t picture yourself as a part of the company’s future.


As an employee, you would probably hate your boss if they constantly undermined your work. Most employees reported feeling micromanaged by their boss and said they don’t feel trusted or empowered in the workplace. Worse, many bosses even take credit for their employees’ work!

As a leader, you must give your employees ownership of their work. Show that you notice when they do a good job, and always give credit where credit is due. As tempting as it is to micromanage, you must let your employees handle projects independently. It helps them feel like an essential part of the company’s future.


The way a leader delivers criticism can go a long way toward making you hate your boss, especially if you’re already unhappy in your job. Employees reported dissatisfaction when their managers focused more on their weaknesses than their strengths, a common issue that leaders must overcome.

Worse, most employees also reported that their boss did not set clear expectations, didn’t provide proper direction, and didn’t effectively communicate with them. You’d hate your boss, too, if your objectives were never explained!

As a boss, you must set clear goals for your employees and give them all the tools they need to reach them. Otherwise, a project’s failure is your fault.

Are you worried your employees might secretly hate you? Do any of these factors ring alarm bells in your mind? It doesn’t have to be that way. Please fill out my contact form, and let’s talk on video call about improving your leadership skills and reputation.

Coach Dave


Dave Schoenbeck
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