No business leader ever wants to find out their employees hate them, but it can happen. When problems can go unresolved or angry words are spoken, it can lead to a dramatic deterioration in the quality of the relationship.

The good news is that things don’t have to stay that way. There are actually many ways you can respond to this situation and resolve it.

Praise Employees For Great Work

Studies show that around fifty percent of workers quit their jobs because they have a poor relationship with their boss. However, research also indicates that the majority of employees would actually be willing to stay in their roles if they received more recognition from management.

Therefore, the message is clear. Regularly and publicly praise the efforts of members of staff. It’s good practice anyway, but it also shows your employees that you are taking note of their hard work and genuinely appreciate it. They’re not doing it for nothing.

Be More Empathetic

Showing empathy is a critical component of any employee engagement model. The more emotional intelligence you have, the more likely your employees will want to stay with you.

Being more empathetic involves seeing the world through your employees’ eyes. It’s also about taking an interest in who they are as people and what they find interesting or exciting about their jobs.

Be Honest

If people don’t like you at work, start with the basics. Be completely honest and transparent with them so at least they always know where they stand when they are with you. You might ruffle some feathers in the short-term, but over the long-haul, it will be totally worth it.

What does being more honest mean in the context of a regular business? Well, for starters, you can be transparent about the direction of the company. Ensure that everyone on the team understands your financial position and what they need to improve. You can also be direct when giving feedback. If you’re not happy about something, make it clear. Be matter-of-fact in your interactions. Take emotion out of the equation.

Be Funny

It’s hard for people not to like you when you’re being funny. What’s more, it’s something that employees want. Work shouldn’t be deadly serious all the time. There should be opportunities for levity from time to time.

How precisely you go about being funny is entirely up to you. Often just allowing a wry smile to form in the corner of your mouth is enough to let your colleagues know what you are all about.

Get Them To Make Suggestions

Employees can sometimes start to dislike you when they feel like you’re making decisions in a vacuum instead of listening to them. Not bothering to consult them on matters makes you appear cold, aloof and arrogant.

Remember, in many cases, talking to your employees about the direction of the company can actually be beneficial. They may be privy to certain types of knowledge that you just don’t have. They may also have some good ideas of their own that you might want to put into practice.

Be Kind And Talk To Everyone As Equals

Great leaders don’t attempt to dominate other people. Instead, they carry them along in the natural flow of their energy. That’s why so many great leaders seem to go about their lives so effortlessly. They’re not really commanding at all. Instead, their colleagues are willingly coming along with them for the ride.

Being kind and consistent, treating everyone as equals day-to-day, will soon have an impact on morale at your company. If you stand above everyone else emotionally, people will naturally start to trust you. They’ll also be more confident that you will act in their best interest and not side with someone else that you like more.

Pause Before You Hand Out Assignments

Before handing out assignments to workers, think carefully about how you can motivate them to complete them with gusto. Just dishing out work and hoping for the best rarely works. Workers often need real motivation – a proper reason for working hard.

One approach you could take is rolling up your own sleeves and getting on with the job yourself, asking your colleagues to help you. When you show initiative and explain why working on a particular task is important, they will be much more willing to come along for the ride.


If employees hate you, it’s a sign that you need to change your behavior. By following the suggestions outlined here, you can completely transform how people see you in your firm.