Customer Experience News & Trends

6 habits the boss can’t stand – and how to break them

We hear enough about bad bosses. Did you ever think you might do some things that drive the boss batty?

Contact center leaders are under immense pressure every day. Poor employee behavior only makes it worse for them.

Some of these behaviors are grounds for dismissal or even termination, while others are just annoying and unfair in any workplace.

Here are the employee behaviors that bother bosses – and how leaders might deal with them, according to experts at National Business Research Institute (NBRI):

  1. Abused sick time. One poll found nearly one third of employees faked illness at least once in the last year. Calling out sick, especially when people really aren’t, disrupts operations and hurts everyone’s morale. Deal with it: If HR agrees to this, allow some unused sick days to roll over into “personal days” so agents take planned days off rather than fib to use sick time off.
  2. Chronic lateness. Most managers understand things happen from time to time and employees will be late to work or after lunch. But chronic tardiness is a sign that someone is not dependable. Deal with it: Talk about it frankly, and if the employee doesn’t care enough to correct it, consider termination.
  3. Cell phone abuse. Sure, they’re nearly expected in every workplace these days. But bosses are irritated by incessant ringing. Deal with it: Create a no-cell phone on the floor policy. Provide places where agents can leave them before stepping into work and then grab them when on break.
  4. Repeated errors. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but employees who consistently hand in paperwork with a few errors are probably incompetent. Deal with it: Repeated mistakes call for a performance improvement plan.
  5. Too much talk. Communication is vital in any contact center operation. But too much talk distracts other workers and bugs the boss. Work isn’t a dinner party. Deal with it: Stop excessive water cooler chat in its path. Remind Chatty Kathy and Ken of a looming deadline or increased customer demand, then ask them kindly to hold their social conversation until break.
  6. Excessive attitudes. Whether an employee is cynical, dramatic, uncooperative or even too nice, bosses are irritated by the extremes. Deal with it: This is probably the toughest behavior to deal with because some of these are personality traits. For those that are actually disruptive to the workplace, your ordinary process of discipline should work. For those who are just annoying, try to limit contact.

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