Eric P. Bloom GHNS
Eric P. Bloom GHNS

My hope in writing this column is, of course, that you use this information in reverse, thus using these tongue-in-cheek suggestions of bad things to do to your staff as advice of what not to do. If you saw the title of this column and thought to yourself, “Cool, more great ways to make the people working for me miserable! I can’t wait to read it,” then I have two pieces of advice for you. First, don’t tell your staff how excited you were to find new techniques to torture them. Second, please don’t read the rest of this column, but read every other column I’ve ever written because I think you can use it.

Number 10: When writing their performance reviews, get your facts wrong and mark them down for mistakes made by other people, not them.

Number 9: Ask a staff member an important question and begin texting a friend as they begin to answer you as proof that you have no interest in what they are saying.

Number 8: When talking to your boss, take credit for the work of a staff member at a location where the person who did the work can hear you.

Number 7: Send an employee to a weeklong training class and not let him/her use what he/she learned while taking the class.

Number 6: Schedule a mandatory two-hour staff meeting starting at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and talk about nothing important until 6:45.

Number 5: Ask your staff to think about innovative ways to improve internal department processes, and then never implement any of their suggestions.

Number 4: Play favorites by giving the best assignments to the people you like the most, regardless of their ability to do the job or the fairness of your decision. Then, when asked by other team members who are getting only uninteresting assignments, just tell them to shut up and do their job.

Number 3: When you go on vacation, put the person who is least competent to do the job in charge of the department until you return. Then, when on your vacation, turn off your cellphone.

Number 2: Carefully assign tasks to your staff based on their weaknesses. For example, if they hate public speaking, have them present important research findings to senior management. As a second example, if they hate to write, have them write the weekly department blog.

Number 1: At noon time on a Friday tell your entire staff to cancel their weekend plans because the whole department must help implement a new company technology. Then, when they all show up at work at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning, tell them you made a scheduling mistake and the software implementation will be the following weekend.

The primary advice and takeaways from today’s column is to know that:

  • Don’t use any of the advice I suggested in this column.

  • Don’t show this column to your boss or you may be its recipient.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, manage well and continue to build your professional brand.

Eric P. Bloom is the president and founder of Manager Mechanics LLC, a management training company specializing in information technology leadership, and is the governing organization of the ITMLP and ITMLE certifications. He is also a keynote speaker, nationally syndicated columnist and author of the books “The CIO’s Guide to Staff Needs, Growth, and Productivity,” “Your IT Career: Get Noticed, Get Promoted, and Build Your Professional Brand” and “52 Great Management Tips.” Contact him at, follow him on Twitter at @EricPBloom or visit