How Bad Managers End Up Driving The Best Employees Away

Bad managers are the reason that most employees leave a firm
Bad managers are the reason that most employees leave a firm
Image Credit: eLKayPics

With a little luck, most of us spend our time trying to become good managers. However, we realize that the world has a number of different types of managers in it and this means that there are both good managers and bad managers out there. It turns out that one of the main reasons that employees leave a firm is because they find themselves working for a bad manager. Although we don’t want to become bad managers, it might be useful to take a close look at what manager skills bad managers use to drive employees away so that we don’t find ourselves doing these things.

Bad Managers Create Office Politics

Every manager wants to motivate their team. Bad managers accomplish this motivation by threatening the jobs of the people who work for them. Our manager training tells us that what a manager should be doing is acting as a teacher and showing the members of his or her team how to improve. Bad managers don’t have time for any of this and they manage by fear with the result being that the members of their team start to resent the company. The first chance that these employees get to leave the firm, they will jump the ship. Office politics is something that can kill the moral in any office. Managers should be actively working to prevent it, not trying to perpetuate it.

Bad Managers Micro-Manage

The last thing that anyone on your team wants is for you to be watching what they are doing each and every day. Instead of attempting to tell each of the members of your team what they need to be doing, be a leader. What you want to do is to be an individual that your team is going to be able to admire rather than trying to control each and every thing that they are doing. Your goal has to be to lead by example and by treating your team members with respect.

Bad Managers Lie To Customers

It sure seems obvious that this is not a good thing to do, but you would be amazed at how often bad managers do this. When a bad manager lies to a customer for whatever reason, the rest of the team is going to see them doing this. The team is going to start to believe that if a bad manager can lie to customers, then are they also lying to the members of the team? This kind of trust, once lost, can be very, very hard to get back.

Bad Managers Air Dirty Laundry In The Office

Each of us lives a busy, complicated life. We all have things going on in our lives that have little or nothing to do with the workplace. Bad managers take what they have going on in their outside lives and drag it into the office and spend far too much time talking about it. This can be disruptive to every one. These types of discussions will cause the team members to feel uncomfortable and they will end up both resenting the bad manager and trusting them less.

Bad Managers Criticize

Every team member comes with their own unique set of skill, talents, and areas where they can still improve. Bad managers spend their time criticizing employees for how they have either done or not done something. Bad managers fail to develop a team members unique set of skills. Bad managers spend their time telling team members that they aren’t working hard enough. Good managers spend their time on team building and building up each member of their team.

Bad Managers Are Abrasive

Communication is the cornerstone of the relationship between a manager and his or her team. Bad managers curse at team members and have no problems using public humiliation to keep team members in line. It is this kind of behavior that can quickly lead to employee turnover. As good managers we realize that nobody deserves to be verbally abused in the workplace. As a good manager you need to be the one who steps in anytime a member of your team is being hassled and put a stop to it.

What All Of This Means For You

Most managers want to become good managers. However, we also realize that in the big wide world there are both good managers and bad managers. In order to become good managers, we need to understand how bad managers drive employees away. By taking the time to study what bad managers do, we can avoid making their mistakes and doing what they do.

Bad managers use office politics to threaten people’s jobs. Bad managers pit people against each other. Office politics kill office moral and good managers should work to get rid of it. Bad managers spend their time telling each team member what they should be doing right now. Good managers lead by example. Bad managers have no problems lying to customers. When they do this, the members of their team start to wonder if they are lying to them. Bad managers bring the challenges that they are having in other parts of their lives into the office and make it a topic of discussion. This makes everyone uncomfortable and can cause team members to resent their boss. Bad managers spend their time criticizing the members of their team. Good managers take the time to develop their team member’s skills. Bad managers have an abrasive communication style that involves cursing and humiliation. Nobody should be treated this way at work.

Good managers are the ones who can motivate their team to accomplish more. Bad managers struggle to get their team to accomplish tasks and they have to deal with people leaving their teams all the time. As managers, we’d all like to be good managers and we’d like to be able to be successful in what tasks our teams take on. Making sure that we don’t do what bad managers do will serve to make us better good managers.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: If you discover that you have a bad manager trait, what steps could you take to get rid of this attribute?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As a manager, you will always be asked to do more things. On top of what you have already signed up to do, people will drop by your cube, catch your arm in the hall, and corner you in meetings and will come up with additional things to add to the already full plate of tasks that you have in front of you. It can be all too easy for us to deal with these situations by simply saying “I’ll do that”. Do this enough, and all too quickly you’ll discover that you are now juggling too much for any one person to get done. When this happens, you need to start to use the greatest skill that a manager has: focus.