Unless you are cast as the love interest of Brad Pitt in a romantic summer comedy, going to work every day can be more like the pits. There are projects to juggle, people to manage and deadlines to make in an atmosphere that isn't always conducive to getting it all done seamlessly. Throw in an employer who acts inappropriately in private or while in the office, and his abnormal behavior can significantly hinder workplace productivity.
When a boss is overbearing, employees feel micromanaged, dominated and nervous. Perhaps the boss is making unwelcome sexual advances despite repeated warnings to stop or micromanages your daily to-do list. The overbearing boss can also be argumentative, rude and condescending when dealing with employee or client issues in addition to simple workload management. This authoritarian way of managing leaves employees feeling frustrated and oftentimes scared about making decisions and giving opinions for fear of rejection or belittlement.
When a boss outwardly discriminates in the workplace, it puts others on high alert for what is to come their way. Overt signs of discrimination include embarrassing a co-worker with sexual innuendo; belittling a minority's ability; continuously refusing to give accolades for a job well done; and purposely leaving someone out of meetings or social activities because of age, race or sex. When either you or someone you know is being discriminated against, it can feel unfair and debilitating. In addition, dealing with law suits, complaints, employee turnover and low morale is costly to companies.
A boss who consistently comes to you for help with personal matters is unprofessional. According to a 2013 survey published by CareerBuilder.com, almost a quarter of employees say that a boss has asked them to perform personal errands beyond the scope of their job description. Whether your boss is having problems at home and subsequently engages you as her personal counselor, or her son needs a science project idea -- and supplies -- pronto, it's important to remember that you work for the company, not her. Have a frank discussion with your boss about what you are uncomfortable with and the expectations of your role as an employee. Remind her you are there to perform a good job for the company and can't do that if your time and effort are expended elsewhere.
From challenging economic times to personal problems, a number of factors can lead employers to inconsistent behavior, an outcome which serves no one. With the stress of keeping clients happy, motivating employees and keeping her own job afloat, even a good boss can start to display abnormal, unprofessional behavior due to mental exhaustion. Yelling during performance reviews, threatening people's jobs and insisting people do the work of many people without extra pay are signs that a boss is overloaded and, potentially unstable. When this happens, the team inevitably shuts down and is even less likely to perform.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.