Get to Know 8 Common Pet Peeves of Managers So You Don’t Become One

Everyone has their quirky little habits — the ones that other people find irritating, but you barely notice. Like most people, managers have their personal preferences about how employees go about their workday. In that sense, it’s very likely that some of the things you’re used to doing (or not doing) are already getting on your manager’s nerves.

Here are 8 of the most common pet peeves among higher-ups from Resumeble. Take the time to evaluate yourself to make sure you’re not guilty of them. Hopefully, your awareness of these pet peeves will help you become a better employee instead of unwittingly pushing your bosses to their breaking points.

manager pet peeves

Looking unprofessional

Nobody likes a messy colleague, and employees who don’t make sure they look presentable gives managers the impression that they have no interest in interacting with co-workers, much less meeting with clients. You are now a working professional, so act like it. Dedicate a portion of your mornings to grooming yourself and selecting smart clothes to wear for the day.

Chronic whining

Whenever your boss calls you in about an incomplete report, project or task, how do you react? Do you blame it on that co-worker who was hogging the copier, the slow cab driver who caused you to be late for work, or your IT guy who couldn’t restore your Wi-Fi connection in time? Managers want to hear their employees taking ownership of their actions or inactions. Although it’s good to identify problems in the workplace, always whining about them does you no favor. Everyone would appreciate it if you propose a solution instead of constantly complaining and spreading bad vibes to the rest of the staff.

Excessive personal internet use

It’s hard to find an employee who’s not guilty of doing some private surfing, browsing or online shopping while on the clock. And most bosses are okay with it, as long as it’s not overdone. Nowadays, there’s plenty of tools that allow managers to track their employees’ Internet use. If they see you spending too much time on the Internet than off it, that could give them the impression that you’re not interested in your work, and will likely not last long at your job. If you want to have a career with your current company, do yourself a favor by keeping your personal internet use minimal.

High drama

People who deal in high drama are peddlers of disruptive gossips and banter. Like whiners, they propagate a negative work environment. Creating drama ultimately incites divisiveness, something that managers work hard to prevent. Workplaces need good, friendly and professional teamwork, and managers are more likely to appreciate employees who can work out their problems in a mature and level-headed way. Passive-aggressive behavior, sense of entitlement, blackmailing, and feelings of ill will and hostility have no place in a professional organization.


Being a few minutes late may seem like a small deal to you, but to your manager, it says a lot about your ability to manage your time. While there can certainly be a valid reason for you to be late from time to time, once it turns into a habit, managers tune out of your excuses and tune in to the idea of dishing out disciplinary action. On the contrary, when you make an effort to always be on time, you demonstrate dedication and teamwork, and managers will likely appreciate your effort.

Constantly refusing additional work

Your promptness when you come in for work may be unmatched, but what about at the end of your workday? Do you take off in such a hurry that you often punch out before the clock hits 5:01? Your boss will require to push up your sleeves after hours from time to time, and refusing to do so is a major pet peeve of managers. You can bet that your boss takes note of who’s still around when the bell rings. Of course, working overtime every night just to impress is futile, but a willingness to put in an extra hour of work after closing time whenever your boss asks you to can play to your advantage.

Speaking of closing time, make sure to let your boss know when you’re on your way out the door at the end of the day because employees that clock out without telling anybody is another habit despised by many employers.

Loud or irritating mobile phone users

More often than not, the work environment needs to promote a quiet and relaxed atmosphere, because that’s how most people are able to focus on their job. Unfortunately, an office will always have one or two inconsiderate souls who just have to have their ringtones on max, speak too loudly on the phone, or worse, use their speakerphones when a regular call would suffice. Avoid shattering your co-worker’s concentration and incurring the wrath of the entire workplace by taking your calls somewhere more appropriate—even if it’s a business call. And do keep your ringtone at a manageable decibel level.

Stealing the show

It’s natural for employees to want to climb up the corporate ladder in their careers. Most get there through hard work and perseverance, but there are those who will hog the limelight and step on their colleagues to get that plum job, taking all the credit for the team’s success with utter disregard for others.

Companies thrive on teamwork, not one-man-shows, and employees who rarely give credit where it is due are people who often find themselves on the manager’s bad side. If this sounds familiar to you, the important thing is to be aware of the impression you’re leaving and put your best effort even in the little things you do. And learn to give due credit. You’ll find that your efforts will be better appreciated if you can acknowledge your teammate’s individual participation.

Avoid manager pet peeves with these four tips

Good manager-employee relationship is crucial to the success of the team, and with it, the company. More than simply avoiding manager pet peeves, you have to put in the effort to building a good relationship with your boss. Here are four tips to help you get on your manager’s good side.

1. Be transparent

You need to be honest and straightforward about the challenges you face at work. Doing so is the best way to avoid manager pet peeves and establish a foundation of trust and transparency between you and your supervisor. Miscommunication is the cause of many workplace problems, and keeping your boss updated about your issues is one way you can avoid manager pet peeves.

Tell your manager that you would like to have an open line of communication with them, and talk to them about your work on a regular basis. Ask them about the form and frequency of communication that they prefer, and set a schedule. They’ll likely appreciate the effort.

2. Become “the go-to guy”

Managers want employees who are consistently reliable—people who know how to get the job done with little urging. Being the “go-to guy” tells your manager that you are invested in the team’s success. The more your boss knows they can count on you, the more you won’t be a part of manager pet peeves. Accommodate your supervisor’s requests, or better yet, try to predict what they need to get done and do it before they even ask. When you become an asset, you open up better opportunities for yourself down the line.

3. Follow your boss’s example

If you have a good boss, it will be wise to work the way they work. Try to observe how they like to get things done, and conform your working style to theirs. This doesn’t mean that you should repeat their moves—simply find a way to work in to their flow. Deliver good solid work by making the necessary adjustments to your work habits to match your boss’s routine.

If this sounds like trying too hard, you can do away with the appearance of kowtowing (another common manager pet peeves) by simply respecting your boss’s time. Managers are understandably busy, and you don’t want to add to the stress. Show that you value their time by taking the initiative to formulate your own decisions and solutions, then referring to them for approval.

4. Learn from your co-workers

Great bosses get along with a lot of people. Observe which of your colleagues have become your manager’s most trusted employees, and ask them what they have done to become “the boss’s favorite,” so to speak. You can learn a lot from their replies, and even ask them for advice on how to improve your working relationship with your manager.

Likewise, if you can’t seem to find your way into your boss’s good graces, these colleagues might provide valuable info as to why. Maybe your boss has pet peeves at work that relate to you that you may not be aware of. If your colleagues are willing to open up to you about these workplace pet peeves, you’ll be one step closer to improving your standing with your manager.

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