I am beginning to think that I am involved in some sort of ad hoc psychological study involving management styles. I am the secretary for two of the partners at the law firm, and their management styles couldn't be more different.
Niceboss is the nicest boss I have ever worked for. He always says "please" and "thank you". He always asks me how I'm doing or how my weekend was, and he actually listens to the answer. He remembers things I have said in the past, to the point where, if he sees a video game advertised, he asks me if I'm playing or interested in it. Niceboss never gets angry at me. One time, I accidentally erased a long tape, and he simply rerecorded it. He did tease me about it for a while afterward, but that was it.
I would give Niceboss a kidney. His work is always flawless and done first. If he asks me to do personal errands on lunch, I do them, with a smile.
Meanboss is a manic control freak with impulse control issues. Meanboss expects me to psychically predict what he wants and when he wants it, and gets angry when I don't. This morning, he threw a fit because I didn't have the right size Post-its at my desk. About a month ago, he grabbed my stapler off my desk, tried to staple something, and when it didn't work, he threw the stapler at me. I swatted it away from my face at the last second with my hand, and it left a bruise. Nobody in the office, including me, found any of this unusual.
Meanboss' work frequently contains grammatical errors. He's not that great at grammar and far be it from me to correct him. I give people his cell phone number and then feign ignorance as to how they possibly could have gotten it. I check his email when I damn well feel like it. (He can't tell when emails came in. He doesn't even know how to turn on a computer.)
I do this because I fucking hate Meanboss. I wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire.
So, if you're in management, and you've noticed that your employees just don't seem to care about the quality of their work, you might want to ask yourself if the problem is them, or you.