Rex Gatto Ph.D., BCC
Executive Coach and President
Gatto Associates LLC.
Do YOU have a Toxic Boss?
Developing and sustaining effective employees is the job of every boss,
those who do what is in the best interest of the organization, is critical to
that organization’s success. Bosses, who coach and mentor employees
to grow and learn are essential to the workplace. Bosses need to be
aware of employee skill sets and abilities, and be able to differentiate
employee performance into three categories:
High potential employees
Moderate performing employees
Why was this person hired?
Furthermore, the boss needs to establish developmental goals and action
plan to clearly identify behavioral change through the developmental
process. Jack Welch, retired CEO of GE, when asked what is the main
job of a manager he responded, to differentiate talent.
Let’s compare Toxic Bosses with Nutrient Bosses.
Don’t recognize employees for contribution
Micromanage employees and take credit
Avoid change and innovation
Don’t hire, promote or develop the right people
Don’t listen, say things in meetings that cause confusion
Don’t support their direct report
Don’t communicate clearly and with transparency
Are not consistent (what mood is s/he in today?)
Don’t make timely decisions or change their minds
Wait too long to remove personnel problems
Wait too long to promote the right people (personal bias)
Toxic Bosses waste time, demoralize employees and are a catalyst for
talent walking out the door. People join organizations and leave bosses.
Nutrient Bosses are able to differentiate talent and give supportive and
developmental feedback to help employees grow.
Give continual feedback
Recognize employees for their contributions for success
Establishes clear performance expectations
Create performance consistency by using a common descriptive
Discuss, support, and coach employees to sustain or develop work
Outline employee strengths and talents with enhancements through
self-assessment and boss observation/assessment
Utilizing the above points to support employees will create consistency
within the organization. Helping employees become role models for
appropriately receiving feedback and demonstrating how to effectively
utilize feedback is the job of the boss.
Following are six key points of measurement to identify Nutrient Boss’
actions and priorities: people issues, work issues, teamwork, leadership,
goal achievement, and peer feedback to enhance performance.
Understanding these six dimensions will create a benchmark of
performance for your organization. The best way to avoid creating toxic
bosses, those focused on themselves and not the organization, is to stop
promoting toxic managers who are great technicians but lack the ability
of working at a true manager or executive level. The six-dimensional
process creates a mechanism for candid feedback that can support
employee effectiveness within the organization and create a level of skill
needed to accomplish individual responsibilities, departmental goals,
and supports organization wide goals.
Nutrient bosses who implement a reward process for successful
employee performance effectively establish the behavior patterns needed
to sustain the organization now and in the future. A Nutrient Boss’
focus needs to be in the best interest of the organization while
individually developing the work-related and people-related skills to
ensure the health of the organization. If Nutrient Bosses are successful
at doing this, they will become role models for employees, while setting
a successful level of executive/manager performance. The question for
you to ask is “are we as an organization selling products and or services
or sustaining and building a business?” You build a business by
developing the right employees who will sustain the future of your
organization. To sustain the future of the organization Nutrient Bosses
continually are focused on giving employees feedback that will feed the
Employee feedback creates a common language for development by
identifying the level of functional performance that creates consistency
throughout your organization. Identifying the right employee actions
creates organization consistency through a process that supports
employee recognition and compensation.
Six types of performance feedback:
Evaluation- measuring the worth of performance
Interpretive-reviewing performance with expectation
Strengths – keep performing in that manner
Development – learning and enhancing performance
Probing- asking and guiding employee performance
Understanding- knowing intent, thoughts, and direction
When giving feedback bosses need to know the types of feedback and if
they are evaluating (evaluating or interpreting) or coaching (strengths,
development, probing and understanding) or both.
Motivation being an outcome from performance feedback can differ
based on the type of feedback given.
The problem; managers think if I am giving feedback it is an evaluation!
Employees respond differently to the type of feedback and may also be
motivated based on the relationship between the boss and employee.
Nutrient bosses have always known this!
The key to giving performance feedback really has little to do with the
document, tools or format it is the rapport that the Nutrient Boss has
developed with the employee.
A Big questions: Does the employee realize in his/her heart that the boss
has their best interest in mind while giving performance feedback?
Nutrient Boss = yes
Toxic Boss = NO
The really BIG problem is tying feedback to money during the same
meeting. That is an issue for another BLOG
Do you have a Toxic or Nutrient Boss?