It is well worth learning the tricks of the trade if you want to stay at the top of your chosen field. Whether you run a small car dealership or an international sports team, here are some important and varied ways in which you can keep on top of your workforce and lose their respect forever.
Get involved in every decision. Make sure no decision is made without you. You must be the final decision-maker for every aspect of every project, but don’t rush; wait until all the work is done and then tell everyone they have got it wrong and it all needs to be changed.
Make everyone run on your schedule. Be half an hour late for every meeting, leave early, and then get angry when a minor decision is made without your input.
You must micro manage. Search out small mistakes to demonstrate that you’re smart.
Never give any feedback. An absolute no-no. Neither positive nor negative. But, do overreact when people fail to guess what it is you really want. Giving proper feedback can only make employees happier and more productive, so you don’t want to do that.
Spend time on irrelevancies, so you can then ignore more important things. Insist on doing tasks someone else could do, while unmade decisions pile up on your desk, halting practically anything getting done.
Be inconsistent and unpredictable. Keep people on their toes by being totally inconsistent in terms of communication (style and content), expectations, feedback, and long-term vision for the organisation. Everyone loves a good game of workplace Russian roulette. Also, change the expectations every time you meet with your employees. Berate them for not meeting the new expectations you just told them about and for wasting all their time trying to meet the expectations you set last month. Then constantly ask your employees to validate you.
Never communicate anything, unless it’s totally trivial. Focus your communication on small, insignificant things. Don’t tell anyone about delays in salary payments, changes in the budget, elimination of departments, or their ruthless new boss you have just hired.
Treat people as if they’re idiots. Manage your employees with 10 or more years’ experience with the same scrutiny you would apply to your interns. And then tell them that the interns are much more open to feedback.
Do not learn new skills or improve existing ones. You are the supervisor, why should you learn stuff when you have people to do stuff for you. Fail to learn even the most elementary technology, such as email attachments; make your younger staff do that in addition to their work.
Passive-aggressively remind people of the power your hold over them. Make loads of jokes about firing people, then laugh it off. It will remind everyone that you have a great sense of humour.
Build up your self-importance by talking about how busy you are all the time. Talking about being busy is just as good as actually accomplishing things.
Evaluate your employees on goals they have never seen before during a review. Fantastic win-win if some of these goals are actually impossible to achieve.
Belittle your team over things both significant and insignificant. When an irrelevant deadline is missed, raise it at a staff meeting by throwing your hands up and shouting about how everyone’s incompetence will ensure the closure of the organisation. Keep telling everyone in staff forums how the whole organisation and its success is based on what you downloaded from your head 15 years previously. Keep saying loudly how you’re the only one with any ideas and it’s clear that no one else has a clue.
Never set clear priorities. Always imply that the latest idea is top priority but don’t ever reschedule existing deadlines. Base your priorities on whoever spoke to you most recently, or whatever your horoscope is for the day.
Play favourites with team members, and make it obvious. Give Christmas presents to your favourite employees, nicely wrapped and labelled, where everyone can see them.
Delegate autonomy, but don’t really mean it. “I want you to make the decision. I don’t want to be involved. You’re experienced and you are driving this project.” Later: “You made the wrong decision. Here’s what I really wanted you to do. Now go and change everything.”
Physically invade people’s spaces. Hug all your employees every day, and get really close to them when talking. If they have told you they don’t want to hug their boss at work, hug them anyway. If you’re standing up talking to them and they take a step backward to get some personal space, take a step forward.
Cross personal boundaries. For example: take a member of staff out for a drink and get horribly and embarrassingly drunk. Have a great time being very friendly and joking around though so they form the impression that you have bonded. Then, when they return to work on the following Monday you should act as if you had never gone out together and maybe spread hints about their incipient alcoholism.
Criticise people in front of their peers. Don’t pull them aside for a quiet word; public humiliation means everyone gets to learn. When applicable, use reply-all to unleash your fury on a team member.
Send subtle messages to your employees that this is not a good fit for them. Maybe leave job posting announcements on desks of employees with notes saying, “You should look into this.” Far more common than you may think.
Don’t bother learning anything about your employees’ leadership and working styles. Why would you assume that people have diversity of perspectives and ways of working? You’re the boss. Make sure people adapt to working with you, not vice versa.
Become defensive at the slightest constructive feedback. Ask for feedback in meetings and then bully and belittle everyone who opens their mouth. Then, when people don’t contribute to meetings, act passive aggressive about it, saying something like: “I guess no one has anything to add and we’ll just have to go with my plan.” Solicit feedback on said plan in emails and other meetings until someone finally says something rash and then give them a written warning for insubordination.
Multi-task while interacting with others. You can get a lot more done if you don’t pay attention to people during meetings. Feel free to browse your smartphone during all staff meetings, type on your phone during staff presentations and leave no personal phone call unanswered.
Always take credit for everyone’s ideas and work. Solicit for ideas on a project, then pitch those ideas as your own, make others carry out the grunt work of their project idea while you get all the credit for having thought of it.
Be completely insensitive regarding pay differentials. Tell staff about the raise and bonus you have been awarded, when they are receiving little or none.
Be aware your staff are out to get you. Of course they are. You are a monster. They rightfully hate you and you have become living proof that power corrupts.