Should Bosses Yell At Employees? 12 Reasons Not | TBW (2023)

Should bosses yell at employees? Yelling isn’t always the most effective way to get your point across. It can answer this question.

What will I learn?

Some bosses yell to motivate their employees. They think that raising their voice will get employees to work harder and be more productive. But does yelling work?

Should Bosses Yell At Employees? No, Here’s Why

If we gather 100 employees and ask them if they prefer to be yelled at or not, the majority will say no.

Being yelled at makes people feel upset and disrespected. It doesn’t make them want to work harder or be more productive. It does the opposite.

So bosses should not yell at their employees. There are better ways to motivate and get your point across.

Here are all the reasons why yelling can do more harm than good:

1. Makes People Fell Bad About Themselves:

When you yell at someone, it’s natural for them to feel defensive. They might start to doubt themselves and their abilities.

This can lead to a loss of confidence and make them less likely to take risks or speak up.

Should Bosses Yell At Employees? 12 Reasons Not | TBW (1)

They feel bad about themselves and their work. This can lead to them feeling unmotivated and uninterested in their job.

Not only does this affect their work, but it can also affect their personal life. They might start to dread going to work and feel stressed all the time.

And when people are stressed, they’re more likely to get sick. Does that do good for retaining employees or keeping them productive?

2. It Disrespects People:

Yelling is a form of verbal abuse. It’s a way of putting someone down and making them feel inferior.

When you are yelling at someone, you’re not respecting them as a human being. You’re treating them like a child or an animal.

This can damage the relationship between you and your employees. They might start to resent you and lose all respect for you.

They might not be willing to work hard for someone who doesn’t respect them. And also, why would they want to stay working for a company that allows this behavior?

3. It’s Not Effective:

Yelling might seem like it’s working at the moment, but it’s not an effective long-term strategy.

Sure, the person you’re yelling at might comply with what you’re saying out of fear. But that will not lead to them being motivated or wanting to do their best work.

It’s also not a good way to build trust or respect. If you’re always yelling at your employees, they will not trust or feel respected by you.

And without trust or respect, it will be hard to get employees to do their best work.

4. It Damages Relationships:

Yelling can damage relationships both at work and at home. If you’re constantly yelling at your employees, they might start to resent you.

This can lead to a breakdown in communication and make it hard to work together effectively.

It can also damage your relationships. If you’re always yelling at people, they might not want to be around you.

They might not want to invite you to social events or spend time with you outside of work.

And what does that do for team morale or productivity? Well, not much.

5. It’s Not Professional:

Yelling is unprofessional, and it makes you look bad. If you constantly yell at your employees, they will think less of you.

Professionalism is essential in the workplace. It’s one of the things that employees look for when they’re considering a job.

And how can you expect your employees to if you can’t act professionally? So if you are yelling at them, you’re only hurting yourself and your professional reputation.

6. It Makes You Look Incompetent:

When you’re constantly yelling at your employees, it makes you look like you can’t handle yourself or your job.

It makes you look weak and incompetent. Not exactly the type of leader that people want to follow.

Should Bosses Yell At Employees? 12 Reasons Not | TBW (2)

And also, if you’re constantly yelling, it might make people question your mental state. Are you really in control if you’re constantly losing your temper?

Does that inspire confidence in your employees? Probably not.

7. It Can Get You in Legal Trouble:

Yelling at your employees can also get you into legal trouble. So should bosses yell at employees? Yes, if they want a legal case against them.

If you’re yelling at them so much that it’s making them feel stressed or causing them physical pain, they could sue you for workplace harassment.

So not only is yelling bad for morale and productivity, but it could also get you in some serious legal trouble.

It’s something that you should avoid at all costs. And if you find that you can’t, you might need to seek professional help.

8. It’s Just Plain Mean:

Yelling is just plain rude. There’s no need to raise your voice and shout at someone to get your point across.

It’s mean, it’s disrespectful, and it’s just not necessary. If you can’t have a conversation with someone without yelling, something wrong.

And if you’re constantly yelling at your employees, you need to find a new way to communicate with them.

9. Yelling Breeds resentment:

What are the consequences of resentment? It blocks creativity, heartfelt collaboration. And it blocks the ability to be open with each other.

It creates an us-versus-them environment. It is counter-productive to a happy and healthy workplace.

Yelling creates an environment of mistrust. Employees feel like they can’t be themselves or share their ideas for fear of getting shot down.

10. It Creates Toxic Environment:

This environment of mistrust and resentment can quickly lead to a toxic workplace.

A toxic workplace is full of negativity, where employees are afraid to speak up or be themselves.

It’s an environment that is stressful and unproductive. It can lead to mental and physical health problems for employees.

And it can even lead to violence. So if you’re yelling at your employees, you’re not only making their lives miserable. You’re also creating a toxic environment.

11. Yelling Is Bad For Business:

Yelling is bad for business. It’s terrible for morale. And it’s bad for productivity, and it’s bad for your professional reputation.

Who will want to join a company that is notoriously known for its yelling? Not many people.

So if you’re constantly yelling at your employees, you’re only hurting your business. You’re making it harder to attract and retain talent.

You’re making it harder to be productive and efficient. And you’re putting your business at risk of legal trouble.

12. It’s Just Not Necessary:

Do you need to yell at your employees to make them understand you? No, you don’t.

Should Bosses Yell At Employees? 12 Reasons Not | TBW (3)

Yelling is unnecessary, and it’s unprofessional. There are many other ways to communicate with people.

You can try raising your voice, but that’s not always necessary. Or, you can try using different words or tones of voice.

You can try explaining things differently. But at the end of the day, yelling is the root of a sick culture at the workplace.

10 Ways To Get Your Point Across Without Yelling

If you find yourself yelling at your employees, there are some things that you can do to change that.

Here are a few tips:

1. Get To The Point:

Don’t beat around the bush. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t waste time with small talk.

Get to the point and say what you need to say. This will help to avoid misunderstandings and frustration.

And when you’re direct, your employees will be more likely to listen to you.

Not being able to get your point across is one of the main reasons people start yelling. So if you can avoid that, you’ll be less likely to yell.

2. Keep Your Cool:

It’s essential to keep your cool, especially when you’re dealing with difficult situations.

If you’re about to lose your temper, take a step back and take a few deep breaths.

This will help you to calm down and to think more clearly. And when you’re calm, you’ll be more likely to communicate effectively.

3. Use A Calmer Tone:

If you get angry, try to use a calmer tone of voice. What’s a calmer tone of voice?

It’s a tone that is more relaxed and less aggressive. When you use a calmer tone, it will help to diffuse the situation.

And it will also help you to get your point across more effectively. It avoids escalation and de-escalates the situation.

4. Choose The Right Words:

The words that you use are essential. When communicating with people, try using positive and constructive words.

Should Bosses Yell At Employees? 12 Reasons Not | TBW (4)

Avoid using negative words like “never” or “should.” These types of comments will only make the situation worse.

Instead, try to use words that will help to build rapport and trust. Phrases like “let’s” or “we’re in this together.”

5. Explain Things Clearly:

When you’re explaining something, make sure you’re doing it in a clear and concise way.

Don’t use technical jargon or acronyms. And don’t talk too fast.

Take the time to explain things in a way that is easy to understand. This will help to avoid confusion and frustration.

6. Be Respectful:

Respect is essential in any relationship. And that includes the relationship between employer and employee.

When you’re respectful, it shows that you value your employees. It shows that you see them as human beings.

And when you’re respectful, your employees will be more likely to respect you.

7. Use “I” Statements:

When you’re communicating with someone, use “I” statements. For example, say, “I feel frustrated when you do that.”

This will help to avoid arguments, and it will also help to build rapport. How?

Using “I” statements shows that you’re taking responsibility for your own emotions.

And it also shows that you’re open to hearing the other person’s point of view.

8. Avoid Blaming:

When you’re communicating with someone, avoid blaming them. For example, don’t say, “you’re the one causing the problem.”

Instead, try to use phrases like “I’m feeling frustrated because I’m not sure what to do.”

Should Bosses Yell At Employees? 12 Reasons Not | TBW (5)

When you avoid blaming, it shows you’re open to finding a solution. And it also shows that you’re willing to work together.

9. Listen:

One of the most important things that you can do is to listen. Listen to what your employees are saying.

And try to understand their point of view. This cannot be easy, especially if you don’t agree with them.

But it’s important to remember that every story has two sides. And if you can understand both sides, you’ll likely find a solution that everyone can agree on.

10. Find A Solution:

Once you’ve listened to both sides, finding a solution is time. The best way to do this is to brainstorm together.

Brainstorming is a great way to come up with creative solutions. And it’s also a great way to build rapport and trust.

When brainstorming, try to come up with a few different solutions. That way, you can choose the one that is best for everyone.

Bottom Line:

Bosses should not yell at their employees. Yelling is unprofessional, and it doesn’t solve problems.

If you’re feeling angry, take a step back and try to use some of the tips above.

Remember, communication is critical. And if you can communicate effectively, you’ll find a solution that everyone can agree on.

Last Updated on 7 months by Shahzaib Arshad

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I am Aleena N. Amjad. With a business background, I have an inclination towards raising awareness of workplace issues as catering to them helps you excel in your career.

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Is it OK for a boss to yell at an employee? ›

It's perfectly legal for a boss to yell at his employees. Yelling, insulting and even bullying are legal management methods in all states at the time of writing.

What bosses should not say to employees? ›

10 things great leaders never say to their employees
  • “Do what I tell you to do. ...
  • “Don't waste my time; we've already tried that before.” ...
  • “I'm disappointed in you.” ...
  • “I've noticed that some of you are consistently arriving late for work. ...
  • “You don't need to understand why we're doing it this way.

What to do when your boss yells at you for no reason? ›

6 Ways to respond to your Boss's yelling
  1. 1 Request For A Private Meeting. If someone is yelling, it's typically because they've reached their breaking point. ...
  2. 2 Explain Yourself. Maintain your cool, but speak up. ...
  3. 3 Feel Responsible for Your Mistakes. Make no excuses. ...
  4. 4 Provide a Solution. ...
  5. 5 Never Yell Back. ...
  6. 6 Always Follow Up.
Aug 24, 2022

What is a toxic boss? ›

A toxic boss is a manager who demoralizes and damages the people underneath them. Their repeated, disruptive behavior drives employees to become disengaged, diminishes their sense of belonging, and takes away their autonomy and sense of purpose—all of which are vital for thriving at work.

Is yelling a form of harassment? ›

Threatening you or your property, yelling, and using insulting or offensive language can all qualify as verbal harassment. In general, harassment refers to repeated behavior rather than a passing remark. Victims of verbal harassment can suffer from significant emotional distress and even develop mental health problems.

Is yelling a hostile work environment? ›

Hostile Work Environments

Uninhibited screaming and yelling at employees is a signature of workplace bullying, which the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries defines as repeated, unreasonable actions intended to degrade, humiliate or intimidate other employees.

What is an unethical boss? ›

In my research, participants characterized their managers' behaviors as unethical when there was constant swearing, inappropriate comments, yelling, screaming, and even harassment. Such poor communication was a precursor to burnout in 64.3% of cases.

Can a boss be condescending? ›

Condescending: Having or showing a feeling of patronizing superiority… Most would be shocked if they found out they were seen as a condescending manager. If confronted by a brave employee, they would probably deny it (“that's not what I meant”, or “you're being too sensitive”).

What is a rude boss? ›

Rude bosses openly mock people by pointing out their flaws or personality quirks in front of others. They remind their subordinates of their place in a hierarchal organization. They take all the credit for wins and blame others when problems arise. The negative impact of incivility in the workplace is clear.

Can a manager get fired for yelling? ›

The short answer is yes. Legally speaking, supervisors and managers are allowed to yell at employees. However, when that yelling is about or against a protected class, the yelling may qualify as harassment.

Why do managers yell at employees? ›

Managers who yell typically do it because they don't know how else to achieve whatever it is they're trying to do -- get feedback to stick, get work done quickly, ensure a mistake doesn't keep happening, or whatever it is.

How do you deal with an insult from your boss? ›

Seven tips for dealing with office insults
  1. React only when necessary. ...
  2. Don't go into attack mode. ...
  3. Don't confront your insulter via email. ...
  4. Focus on the big picture. ...
  5. Don't take it personally. ...
  6. Accept that not everyone likes you. ...
  7. Share your concerns.

What is boss gaslighting? ›

Gaslighting at work involves manipulation by your manager or supervisor, usually to undermine your performance and overall ability to function. The individual could make your day-to-day experience a living hell and, according to BetterUp, cause you to dread going to the office.

What is a selfish boss? ›

Selfish bosses are preoccupied with making money — no matter what the cost. They demand your hard work but do not want to hear your concerns or perspective. They expect you to contribute 100 percent but deliver considerably less to the relationship themselves. And they are quick to blame others if something goes wrong.

What does an abusive boss look like? ›

Here is a list of some of the behavioral signs to look for in an abusive boss: Micromanages and monitors your work while refusing to delegate. Pressures you to the point that you feel undue stress and burnout. Makes unreasonable demands in terms of work hours, workloads and deadlines.

What is demeaning behavior in the workplace? ›

Examples of bullying or demeaning behavior include: Persistent or egregious use of abusive, insulting, or offensive language directed at staff, students, or other faculty. Criticism or feedback that is delivered with yelling, screaming, threats, or insults.

What type of abuse is shouting? ›

Destructive criticism and verbal abuse: shouting; mocking; accusing; name calling; verbally threatening.

Is yelling a form of disrespect? ›

Yelling is demeaning, hostile, and threatening with the intent of chastising. Yelling is condescending and demeaning, whereas a firm voice can be reassuring, but directive in style.

Can you sue if your boss yells at you? ›

In most cases, you can't sue your employer because your boss yelled at you. However, if your boss yells at you or discriminates against you because of your age, religion, gender or race, you may be able to file a hostile work environment lawsuit.

Can my boss talk bad about me to other employees? ›

It also prohibited “making negative or disparaging comments or criticisms about anyone; creating, and sharing or repeating, a rumor about another person; and discussing work issues or terms and conditions of employment with other employees.” The judge concluded that the policy violated the National Labor Relations Act.

What are the effects of being yelled at work? ›

Being yelled at has significant effects on both the body and the brain. The psychological effects of being yelled at include anxiety, depression, and interpersonal problems. Other psychological effects of being yelled at include stress, autonomic arousal, behavioral problems, low self-esteem, and sleep problems.

What are the 5 unethical employees? ›

The ERC reported that employees most often observe the following five unethical behaviors in the workplace: 1) employees misusing company time, 2) supervisors abusing subordinates, 3) employees stealing from their employers, 4) employees lying to their employers, and 5) employees violating company internet policies.

What are 2 examples of a leader's unethical behaviors in organizations? ›

Unethical leader behaviors such as falsifying information, promoting their own self-serving personal vision; censure opposing views; demand their own decisions be accepted without question; engage in one-way communication; show insensitivity to followers' needs; and rely on convenient external moral standards to ...

When bosses are unfair? ›

Take the matter to Human Resources

If you genuinely believe you're being treated unfairly by your boss, it's time to speak to someone. Every company will have a system to deal with employee misconduct.

What to do with a demeaning boss? ›

Share in their frustration. Validating their feelings can help neutralize a bad situation. Show your boss that you understand that their condescending behavior is really just a result of the stress and frustration of work. Help pull them out of their bad mood by telling them that you get how frustrating something is.

Is your boss allowed to be rude to you? ›

Remember that as an employee, you have a right to work in a harassment- and hostility-free workplace. If your boss' behavior and rude comments are threatening, you need to do something about it. Contact the company's human resources department.

How do you outsmart a toxic boss? ›

How to deal with a toxic boss: 7 tips
  1. Make the decision to stay or go. The first step in dealing with a toxic boss is to make a realistic decision about whether to stay or go. ...
  2. Do the work: Don't be a target. ...
  3. Don't get drawn in. ...
  4. Don't gossip. ...
  5. Keep detailed records. ...
  6. Don't derail your career. ...
  7. Remember, it's not forever.
Sep 7, 2020

Can a boss Gaslight you? ›

A manager who uses gaslighting will say one thing and do another. They might say that they value diversity in the workplace but only put forward candidates that look and sound like them. Gaslighting works when the employee wants to believe the manager's words to the extent that they will disregard their actions.

What is an example of an unprofessional boss? ›

Examples may include stealing company secrets, aggression and bullying, fraud, vandalism, profanity, sexual harassment, extreme noise, negative comments that might impact the workplace, offensive jokes and disrespecting others and their personal items.

What qualities does a bad boss have? ›

7 Qualities Effective Leaders Avoid
  • Micromanagement. You've heard it countless times: great employees leave bad managers, not bad companies. ...
  • Avoiding career development discussions.
  • Poor communication skills. ...
  • Stealing credit.
  • Ignoring workplace conflict.
  • Overworking employees. ...
  • Lack of adaptability.

Can I sue my boss for talking behind my back? ›

If it's spoken, it's called slander. If someone defames you and damages your reputation, you can sue them.

When your boss belittles you in front of others? ›

If your boss belittles you, address it quickly. Go to your boss and be absolutely clear about what was disrespectful or hurtful. This isn't saying, “You're out to get me” or “I can't believe you're so horrible . . .”

What do you do when your boss humiliates you in front of others? ›

Apologize and say something along the lines of “I'd love to discuss this with you more, privately.” Ask for tips on how to do things better. Ask very detailed, specific questions: this shows that you take your lack of performance seriously and want to do better. This should calm your manager down.

Can a manager belittles you? ›

Bosses that bully question your ability by belittling your opinions and ideas. This behavior may take place in private or in front of others. They also may blame you for problems at work while boasting that their skills are responsible for good outcomes.

Is it OK to yell at people? ›

Yelling is not in itself abusive, belittling or emotionally controlling. Yelling is in the range of normal emotional expression, can be an effective parenting tool, and should not be off limits to any human, including those of us who parent.”

What is a manipulative boss? ›

A manipulative boss is basically the kind of boss who uses emotional and political influence to control your actions and keep you dependent on them. Such boss can either teach you how to fight for yourself or can kill your morale.

Is arguing with your boss insubordination? ›

Employees do have the right to question and argue about an order given by their boss. It is not insubordination if a manager tells a worker to do something and the worker responds by asking questions or giving their reasons why they shouldn't have to do what the boss wants.

How do I report a toxic boss? ›

How to Report your Boss.
  1. Go to your boss first. Going to your boss is often the first step, although this may not always go the way you want it to. ...
  2. Document everything. Keep careful records of your boss's actions, including what they said and did at specific times. ...
  3. Go to HR. ...
  4. Seek legal counsel.
Feb 12, 2022

What is passive aggressive boss? ›

Often, passive-aggressive leadership is characterized by: Blaming others for mistakes. Indirectly criticizing employees. Implementing unnecessary or confusing workplace rules. Avoiding building relationships with employees.

Why do bosses try to control you? ›

Controlling management often stems from insecurity, distrust or inexperience. For example, they may be feeling pressured by their supervisors or it might be their first job in management. Understanding what causes them to act can help you predict their actions.

What is mental abuse from a boss? ›

Emotional abuse is a form of workplace harassment, which is commonly defined as belittling or threatening behavior towards an individual worker or a group of workers. Harassment and emotional abuse on the workplace cover a wide range of conducts of an offensive nature.

What is mental abuse at work? ›

More overt examples of mental abuse include angry rants, screaming or swearing at the employee in front of others, sabotaging work, stealing the credit for work the victim performed or making rude, belittling comments about a co-worker.

How do you know you're being disrespected by your boss? ›

But it boils down to having one's feelings, wishes or rights valued and held in similar regard to one's own. When you're disrespected by your boss, you feel as if you're not seen. You feel like you don't matter. You feel like whether you work hard or not, it doesn't matter.

Can your boss yell at you in front of others? ›

Can my boss yell at me in front of other employees? Yes. Unless your boss discriminates against you and uses yelling as a tactic, then you are out of luck. Employment laws do not prevent employers from acting poorly, and only punish bad actors if they discriminate or retaliate against employees.

Can I get fired for yelling at a coworker? ›

The short answer is yes, you can fire an employee for disrespectful behavior. However, it is not always easy to do. You'll have to use the human resources department of your business to help you terminate an employee.

What is it called when your boss talks down to you? ›

In most cases, “condescension” is simply the person's tone of voice and nothing else. Employees often claim that their boss's words aren't even the problem; it is the overall feeling of being spoken down to. If you are experiencing this with your supervisor, it helps to figure out how you should handle the situation.

Can you be fired for arguing at work? ›

Fighting at work can lead to disciplinary action, including termination.

Can you be fired for arguing with your boss? ›

A verbal fight with your boss is serious. You could be fired for cause due to insubordination.

Can you get fired for verbal threats? ›

While no laws explicitly protect workers from verbal abuse, an employer is generally responsible for providing employees with a safe work environment free of harassment. Despite labor laws hardly touching on verbal abuse, you could pursue legal action and recover compensation in certain circumstances.

Can I sue my boss for talking down on me? ›

Yes, you may be able to sue your employer for verbal abuse. Although state law generally doesn't recognize it as a separate cause of action, verbal abuse can in some instances constitute illegal workplace discrimination under state and federal law.


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