10 Traits of a Bad Manager
Sometimes poor employee engagement is down to poor management. The frustration, stress, and unhappiness of dealing with lousy management can deteriorate engagement over time. There are usually specific patterns which you can spot, so if you recognize any of the patterns mentioned below, it is essential to act as fast as possible to change them.
Managers who regularly make negative remarks and always recognise employees for their mistakes or downfalls, rather than their successes or achievements. Management should try to be encouraging rather than hostile and should make sure they always balance a bad point with a good point to maintain motivation.
The manager with an inflated sense of their own importance, they think their ideas, processes, and initiatives are better than anyone else’s and believe that they are superior to others. They have little regard for other’s feelings and are ruthless in their quest to get to the top. It is important to remember that staff are a vital part of company achievement and without them, there is no business or success, so employee’s ideas and work should be appreciated, no matter which seniority level they are at.
Managers who will never take the blame for something, never correctly assess a situation and thus will never take responsibility. This is a sure way to lose respect from employees. Managers should understand that it doesn’t show weakness if they take responsibility for a mistake. Instead, it shows that they are human and sincere.
Someone who continually shouts ideas, goals, and targets but never actually sticks to any of them, so it is hard for employees to keep up and know which priorities are of top importance. This will knock employee confidence as they will never feel like they are reaching goals and targets. Managers should set targets, communicate them effectively and clearly, and most importantly stick to them until the desired end date. They can then review and change them if necessary.
Employees rely on managers to keep calm under pressure and provide guidance in times of needs. If a manager has emotional outbursts and gets angry or overly stressed at problems, then this will create a tense atmosphere at work, which is not pleasant for anyone and make employees hesitant to talk to management in times of need. When addressed with a problem management should assess the situation, if it does appear complicated or particularly urgent then take a step back, sit and think. This gives a chance to understand how to address the problem rather than erratically shouting or panicking.
Not communicating openly with employees and always holding ‘managers only’ meetings creates a sense of uncertainty for staff. Always withholding information leads to resentment and a lack of trust. When possible, management should always communicate openly with employees and share as much information as they can.
#7 Busy, busy, busy
These managers never have time for anything or anyone because they are so swept off their feet with everything else going on. This means they lose focus on projects, which ultimately affects the success of the business. Workloads can become overwhelming but prioritization and time management is essential. They should always make sure they have time for their staff members and if not, allocate time during the week so that employees are always supported.
#8 The micro manager
They give excessive supervision, never handing over control and immediately criticising work, they stifle empowerment and innovation because they like things done their way or no way. Staff should be told what should be done but not exactly how it should be done. Let them complete the task and then review it, don’t watch employees every step of the way.
#9 The do it myself manager
When a task isn’t done exactly the way they want it they resort to the old saying “I’ll do it myself” – they think this will motivate employees to do the job better next time. Instead, it insults their intelligence and tells them you think they are incapable.
If a job isn’t done the way you wanted it, it is usually because you didn’t give enough guidance in the first place. Simply tell them what you were expecting and ask them to try again.
#10 The scaremongering manager
The boss who thinks it is a great idea to tell staff how bad the company is performing in an attempt to motivate them. This will make them feel useless at their job, and feel like they are going down with a sinking ship.
Instead of scaring them, tell them areas where the company is performing well and then add in where the company needs improvement. This will make them feel like they are doing their job well and spur them on to do even better to improve other areas.
About the Author
Hayley Lloyd is a Marketing specialist at Oplift by Ocasta, the multi-award winning learning, operations, and employee engagement app.