3 Traits Killing Your Employees’ Productivity

A good business leader must inspire continuous improvement to obtain a creative company. If you aren’t continually improving, then you’re stagnating, and your company won’t grow.

Not all businesses and bosses are built the same. Ruffling feathers can be damaging to the development of the group and counter-productive to innovation. It ultimately affects the bottom line. Thus, it’s necessary to understand these three traits that negatively impact productivity.

Lack of emotional intelligence

The ability to identify one’s emotions and manage them is known as emotional intelligence. It’s not merely about regulating your own emotions, but as a leader, being able to calm people or encourage your team and raise their spirits.

Bosses without emotional intelligence become their own worst enemy because when he or she is in a bad mood, frustrated or stressed, it creates tension in the office and undermines a safe atmosphere. Such an atmosphere is critical to creativity, innovation, and performance. Lack of emotional intelligence hits the bottom line annually to the tune of $400 billions of lost productivity.

Seeking all the glory

A key component to good leadership is selflessness. It’s important to make the whole team do better. As Sarah Thompson of Droga 5 told the New York Times in a 2017 interview, “There’s less glory the more senior you get.” Managers who fail to recognize this and take credit for their employee’s hard work will find they lose the trust of those team members.

Jim Dougherty, a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, reminds that giving credit when credit is due “reinforces the sense that people are working toward shared goals.”

Conversely, a boss who is quick to pass on blame and is unaccountable for his or her own actions also sets a poor example. Not only does it fill the office with fear and anxiety, but it can also turn the entire office into one big “blame game.” According to Alina Tugend, author of “Better by Mistake,” research shows workers tend to copy the bad behavior of blaming and perpetuate the problem.


Bosses sometimes believe that micromanaging demonstrates good leadership. If the boss micromanages the project to success, then, of course, he or she is probably going to assume all the credit for it, because if “I wasn’t there micromanaging it, it wouldn’t have happened.”

In fact, the opposite is true. A boss who has control issues will have a hard time empowering others and inspiring innovation. Good leaders need to be able to recognize that they have a responsibility to have the right people on the team, have them in the right seats and have them well resourced, coached, trained and inspired. When team members get clear directions, they’re productive and getting the job done.

Micromanaging is a fear-based behavior that has a negative effect on employee engagement and productivity. If a boss is a micromanager, employee strengths aren’t nurtured. In time, morale drops because employees can tell if their boss doesn’t trust them. Not only will this hamper their drive to succeed, but it will also result in a less innovative company. Employees who know their boss will poke at every tiny thing will avoid taking a risk. This tamps down growth potential for the employee and the company.

Growing a company takes creativity. Idea generation only occurs in empowering and safe environments. Thus, leaders must “walk the talk;” be able to model the culture as well as teach and preach it. Everybody has eyes on the boss. Certainly, people are willing to let somebody have a bad day but not conduct themselves in ways that make for a toxic culture. Good leaders recognize that culture drives everything in organizations. When the culture is good, in turn, you get employees who grow the company and positively impact the bottom line.

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