Most of us have had the misfortune of working for or with a manager who’s a jerk. You know the type of boss I’m talking about – the kind who exhibit no trust or respect for their employees and manage through intimidation. These types of manager are bad for business as their negative approach stifles and suppresses the people around them. They can single-handedly destabilise the workforce and it can be extremely difficult to undo the damage that they’ve done. Working for a ‘horrible boss’ is a thankless task and can be the root cause of so many employment relations issues including low levels of morale and high levels of sickness and absence, not to mention high turnover of staff.
In this month’s blog we will look at a few of the most common mistakes these managers make so that, should you encounter a boss who is more Charles Manson than Richard Branson, you’ll know how to deal with them.
Taking All the Credit – Bad managers will often bathe in the glory of a job well done, even if it is their staff that have delivered the results. This is one of the single worst traits of a ‘horrible boss’. Good managers realise that one of the most powerful tools they have available to them is the offering of recognition to their people and use it to drive performance. By taking all the credit for themselves, the bad manager is discouraging their employees from going ‘the extra mile’ for the business. Why would you work your socks off if you know you won’t even get as much as a ‘thank you’?
Ruling with an Iron Fist – This often occurs when a manager is promoted from within with little or no training in how to manage people. Their newly found power goes straight to their head and they treat their staff like children, barking orders at them and making them feel unworthy and unimportant. Quite simply, this style of management doesn’t work. New managers should be trained to be approachable and offer their staff the help and support that they need to be able to perform effectively.
Making it Personal – All too often ‘horrible bosses’ will exhibit favouritism towards those employees that they get along with on a personal level. Likewise, those that they don’t see eye to eye with will be ostracised and made to feel that they are not part of the team. Managers who adopt this kind of approach will lose the respect of their staff and can encourage claims of bullying and victimisation. A good boss will manage with a level of consistency that makes everybody feel that their contribution is important.
Some ‘horrible bosses’ are jerks because their daddy didn’t love them. Others just haven’t been given the right training and guidance. Make sure that your managers aren’t having a negative effect on your business by training them the way YOU want them to manage.
David is a Human Resources Consultant at Let’s Talk People.
David has been providing HR & employment law advice to business owners and company directors for 8 years. He is a qualified member of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.