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10 Ways to Annoy Your Boss

10 Ways to Annoy Your Boss

When I was the boss, there were some surefire ways to annoy me. Some of my employees frequently did so. How dare they, I used to mutter to myself! Ungrateful wretches. Fortunately, those I had lined up for execution at dawn were a tiny minority. They were the ones who had dared to question my decisions or had led a coup d’état to topple me, their beloved leader (tyrant!).

All the others who annoyed me would get off with lighter sentences such as life imprisonment or instant exile. Just joking! Seriously though, they all had remarkably similar traits and habits which convinced me that they just had to be got rid of. Learn from them. Here are the 10 guaranteed ways to annoy your boss.

1. You always arrive late

Your boss will not be impressed by the excuses. After a while, the traffic, parking problems, sick children, and delicate health will wear thin, just like her patience. If you are worried about this, there are plenty of ways to always be on time, such as scheduling events 10 minutes early. There are lots of good suggestions in this article on how to cope with time, if you really want to improve. If you have no intention of changing your ways, remember this quote from Lip Hock Yap Ivan:

“If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.”

2. You rely far too much on emails

You still have not mastered the email etiquette and this is making your boss mad. You have this irritating habit of copying him on emails that are of minor importance. You have also raised sensitive and important matters by writing it all down. A walk on the wild side or a phone call could have made life easier for everyone. You also have this awful habit of using capitals for subject headings. This is the same as shouting. Your boss is not deaf – yet!

3. You are the office gossip

Your boss knows how much energy you are devoting to this and you have honed your skills to a pretty high level. She has even heard you make gross statements at the water cooler, “Now, this you must not repeat.” She shudders when tales of “bad management” reach her ears and she knows who has upgraded her campaign. Once this gets on the social media, the virus can damage not only staff morale within the company, but also outside it.

4. You need constant reminding

Whether it is a deadline or just a mundane regular task, why do you need constant reminding? It is true that there are some bosses who are micromanagers and their behavior is pathological. They check up on every little detail, including the font size in that report. There is a happy balance and if you find that you are constantly failing to meet deadlines as regards timing and budget, your boss is right to be annoyed.

5. You are always on the phone

Why are you tempting your boss to initiate a no texts, no cell phone ban on the whole staff? Your boss is already having sleepless nights about the impact of all this texting on productivity but is also keenly aware that a total ban might be a boomerang. Employees hate been treated like naughty kids at school. But why push her to that extreme measure?

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“Texting is a supremely secretive medium of communication – it’s like passing a note – and this means we should be very careful what we use it for.” – Lynne Truss

6. You dominate meetings

Yes, you are talking far too much. Colleagues begin to doodle, yawn, shuffle and your boss or team leader has a hard time keeping to the agenda and finishing the meeting on time. She often wonders why some colleagues just did not go for a career in acting, given their passion for strutting on to the stage and talking in monologues.

7. You are living in your own world

This is when your own little microcosm comes into collision with some of the bigger galaxies in the office. You are convinced that you need new software to make you super-efficient. When you push for that, you are unaware this may mean a painful budget cut in another department or simply that a colleague may not be able to attend a skills training course. You just have forgotten the bigger picture or fail to see what the company mission really means.

8. You make a few guesses

If you are stuck for figures in a report, you simply make a few guesses or you make them up. They are perfectly reasonable guesses, of course! But this can come back and haunt you. There will be misunderstandings and transparency among staff will be at risk. It is when you say, “I just made a few assumptions”, your boss sighs and thinks about The Odd Couple’s famous line:-

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“When you assume you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” – The Odd Couple

9. You take lots of sick leave

Your boss needs to know how your work is going to be covered when you are ill. If this happens on a regular basis, then the effects on other members off staff is creating a tsunami! Your boss will be looking at ways to stop you abusing the sick leave policy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.” – Oscar Wilde

10. You label everything as “urgent”

You think that your boss needs to know everything and that means everything. You do not bother to distinguish the risk of losing a contract from a blip in delivery procedures. The latter is an inconvenience and probably your job, so your boss does not need to know. Keeping the real emergencies or problem issues for her attention is the name of the game.

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“One of life’s best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire – then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.” – Robert Fulghum, Uh-oh- Some Observations From Both Sides Of The Refrigerator Door.

Now that you know what makes your boss mad, reflect on whether any of the above defects might apply to you. But, of course they don’t – you just read this post between updating your Facebook status and deciding where to have your coffee break this morning!

Featured photo credit: World’s Best Boss/Kumar Appalah via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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