10 Reasons Your Employees Hate You (Or at Least Reject You…)
Being the boss comes with some great perks- a better bank account, corporate benefits, and a fancier title — but why, before you even hold your first meeting, do you get the sense your employees hate you?
Unfortunately, more power comes with more problems. Neil Giarratana, author of CEO Priorities: Master the Art of Surviving at the Top, a former CEO himself, offers 10 reasons your employees hate you before you even settle into your office:
1. Someone else had aspirations for your job, didn’t get it, and concluded that the selection process had serious flaws.
2. Blame MUST fall on someone, and, because you’re the biggest beneficiary of the company, you are the biggest target.
3. Your style of leadership or rumored future plans could be the problem. Even if you made NO indication of any future plans, rest assured the rumor mill is alive and well.
4. Someone in the company knows you from another company situation or from within the company, and got to know you during your climb up the ladder. His or her memories of you are more like nightmares.
5. There are concerns you will bring in a new team and replace current management, which could involve new hires or people from your old company.
6. Your real or rumored lifestyle may offend certain people in the company.
7. You seem so different from their beloved previous leader that you can’t be any good.
8. You come from another industry and don’t understand what “our industry” and “our culture” are all about.
9. No one really knows what you’re going to do, how you’re going to act, or what policies you will follow, but everyone “knows” that in spite of that, it will be and has to be stopped.
10. You may already know an executive in the company and you may not think very highly of them. In all probability, they will know this, too, and be part of an “undercurrent” problem you experience with them because they will be concerned that you will readily replace them.
The first step in solving a problem is knowing that you have one. And as a new CEO or manager, it is possible to have this problem, no matter how competent, respectful, likable, intelligent, and accomplished you may be. You may think you are coming into the position to do the usual things like battle the competition, perhaps reorganize things, and expand the market for your products and services. Trusting in your nice persona, you may think that your personality’s contribution to achieving victories in those areas will win over the recalcitrant members of your new staff. The reality may be totally different: You may already be at war with some of your people. And they may not care what you do. By accepting this early on, you can begin to do damage control. Keeping an eye out for the above problem areas is the first step towards solving them.
In his book, CEO Priorities: Master the Art of Surviving at the Top (Career Press), retired international CEO, Neil Giarratana, shares “conduct and survival related” insights and recommendations aimed at providing future and current CEOs and other managers with the means to be on the positive side of the “popular opinion” equation that these ten points all involve and thereby reduce or eliminate the disdain factor so omnipresent in today’s discussion of business leadership.
Neil Giarratana spent 32 years as a CEO in diverse industries, including cosmetics, toys, leather goods, and durable goods manufacturing. As the senior executive, he managed companies both in Europe (he is fluent in German and French) and the United States. He holds a BA in international relations from Stanford University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Neil currently resides in the Chicago area.