I’m experiencing all sorts of feelings as I write this post because I know how difficult it is to handle a bad manager. It can be devastating working under a bad manager. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced working with a bad manager or two.The truth is bad managers have a huge impact on an employee, so let’s break this down to understand why this is and what you can do to handle a bad manager.
What is a Bad Manager
Before we delve deep and start discussing how to handle a bad managers, lets first take a look at what a bad manager is. The role of a manager in a general sense is someone who is responsible for five main areas of business, planning, organising, staffing, leading and controlling. Therefore a manager is someone that combines all the areas of business in order to gain results while maximising human potential.
Put simply it’s your manager’s job to ensure goals are met, teams have the support they need and that you as an employee know what to do and are working to your potential. When these conditions are met, you are more likely to feel secure within your role and perform well. Therefore a bad manager is a manager that does not understand the importance of balancing the different areas of business. Or does not know how to do this effectively. As a result you as an employee are not able to get what you need from the workplace in order to experience personal and team success.
What Bad Managers Do
What makes things worse is that a bad manager refuses or is unable to see the problems around them. Problems that are either caused by organisational structures or by poor leadership. Therefore instead of addressing problems they ignore and deflect problems resulting in issues never being addressed. Bad managers take good teams and create chaos. Or worse, take good employees and turn them into cynical, frustrated, complacent and poor performing employees. Bad managers are bad news for everyone. This is why it is often difficult handling bad managers.
How to Identify Bad Managers
Although managers are unique there are common traits that are evident when looking at the behavioural patterns of bad managers.
- Bad managers micromanage and find it difficult to trust their employees to deliver the work. Therefore they limit output, slow growth and frustrate employees.
- Bad managers focus on blame instead of solutions. They create a culture of mistrust, fear and inconsistency.
- Bad managers lack focus. Bad managers are unfocused and undisciplined, it’s hard to get answers or straightforward solutions from them.
- Bad managers take credit for teamwork. Instead of acknowledging individual or team successes, they take every opportunity to exalt themselves and minimise their teams
- Bad managers are unprofessional. They do not understand where to draw the line and how to create professional boundaries, they lack self awareness.
- Bad managers have favourites within teams which creates unfairness, breaks up teams and disrespects employees.
- Bad managers never take responsibility for their failures, they forget important details, dismiss issues and expect everyone to be like them.
How Bad Managers Lose Good Staff
Looking at the traits of bad managers it is not difficult to see the impact bad management has on employees and why good employees would leave. Bad managers create a toxic environment and toxicity damages everything around it. It is impossible to work under toxic conditions without feeling the effects physically or mentally. Which in the end leads to good staff leaving eventually. And even when employees decide to stay in a toxic work environment, they are often not fully present and work becomes a tick box exercise.
How to Handle a Bad Manager
If you are experiencing a bad manager, feel comforted by the fact that bad managers are present everywhere. And although they often leave a trail of frustration behind them, organisations can be slow in addressing issues and supporting bad managers to be better. Often the emphasis is on you as the employer to make the most out of your situation. So if you are experiencing bad management at work, here are a few things you may want to consider.
- Arrange a meeting with your manager to discuss what you need to succeed at work and which management style is most helpful to you. If you are dealing with an insecure manager be careful not to be seen as blaming your manager, instead identify their motivations and come from that perspective. If you would like to discuss this with someone before hand, get in touch with me here
- Aim to achieve an agreement with your manager focus on agreed actions and outcome you both would like to see and how you both can create an environment for success
- Identify your managers triggers and find coping strategies around these
- Consider moving teams and working under a different manager
- Look out for other mentors within the workplace that you can turn to for support and opportunities
- Consider talking to HR for guidance and advice
- Consider talking to your managers manager about how outcomes could be improved
- If all else fails you may want to consider finding a new job
When Is It The Right Time to Leave a Bad Manager
If you have tried multiple things to resolve challenges at work, and the issues still remain with your manager, it may be time to leave and find a new job. Only you will know when the time is right, so give yourself time to think through how you feel and to consider all your options. If you do decide to leave, understand that it takes great courage to leave a situation that is not serving you anymore. Be sure to learn the lessons and know what to look out for when considering taking up employment with an organisation.
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I remember working at an organisation where certain departments were constantly recruiting staff, because people only lasted a few months due to a bad manager. It was exhausting for everyone involved, the team was never able to grow as they were constantly onboarding new staff. Aiming to speak to current employees, finding the average length of staff retention and paying close attention to the culture of an organisation are things I now consider before taking up employment.
Don’t let a bad manager derail you from achieving your career goals. Learn how to handle a bad managers and know that their downfall is inevitable.
If you have questions around your career and how to optimise success get in touch with me here