An overwhelming 65 percent of employees in North American don’t trust their company’s leadership. This may seem arbitrary. Some employees say they hate their boss but how much of it is for a valid reason, and how much has nothing to do with professional competency?
Managers can account for up to 70 percent of variance in employee engagement. The main takeaway from this statistic is the importance of managers possessing effective business management skills. Be on the lookout for these signs of poor management and ways to avoid these mistakes yourself.
1. Passive Aggressiveness
Signs of passive aggressiveness aren’t always apparent. Things, like micromanaging small details and giving vague project directions (only to scold you later for doing it incorrectly), are big signs of passive aggressiveness from your manager. In the management role, check in with your employees to make sure they understand what you are asking of them and why you are asking it. A happy employee is an engaged employee, and the inverse is true as well.
2. Acting Unconsciously
If a manager is always talking about cleanliness in the workplace, yet they’ve often left soda bottles on the break room table, this is a bit of a red flag. It not only shows a lack of responsibility for their actions, it demonstrates patently unconscious behavior. If you are in a management position, it is important to remember to practice what you preach. Awareness about your own actions helps to keep you in check before reprimanding someone for making the same mistakes as you.
3. Credit Stealing
Nothing will ruin a reputation quite like taking credit for another’s accomplishments. In a manager, it is a particularly bad habit. Not only does it immediately take them down in the eyes of their employees; but when their superiors find out they can’t duplicate these results on their own, they’ll be on the chopping block. If your employees are going above and beyond, recognize them. This will boost workplace morale and familiarize you with an employee’s strengths, so you may better organize tasks in the future.
4. Bad Temper
They say a lost temper can never be found, and that may be especially true for poor management. A coworker who raises their voice out of anger in the workplace is quickly labeled a loose cannon. When a manager raises their voice, it can make you question their self-control and ability to lead at all. If you are the manager and you find yourself getting angry in the workplace, take a step back. Ask for some time to yourself, or say, “I’ll get back to you in an email.” This may not be as satisfying as shouting at your employees, but it will keep you from looking like a toddler.
Whether in customer relations or the office, rapport is important. It isn’t everything, however. A manager who spends most of their time complimenting workers, colleagues and superiors is leaving a lot undone. In some cases, it is all the manager knows how to do. If simply sucking up to the boss and playing nice with coworkers were the only business management skills that got you to the position, it certainly won’t keep you there. Replace a couple of those pats on the back with productive reviews, and everyone in the office will be much more impressed with you.
6. Playing Favorites
Again, rapport in the workplace is a great thing; people want to feel they are working for a likable character. However, if the manager has a buddy in the office who constantly underperforms, fails to complete deadlines and neglects their work in group assignments, you can be sure coworkers are upset with them both. As a manager, it is important to keep friendships outside of the office. The workplace is for just that – work. If anyone in the workplace is underperforming, it is your job to let them know.
7. Slippery Decision Making
Some with poor management skills never make a decision. They may sit back and let issues sort themselves out. And, even when asked a direct question, they are likely to say, “I’ll get back to you on that,” or “Go ask Alice about it.” As a manager, you are not saving face by not making decisions. You are revealing your insecurities. Your team looks to you for guidance. If you are afraid of making mistakes, how likely is your team to succeed?