Bad bosses come in many different forms. As HR it is vital that you are aware and conscious of the different ways a manager could be failing so that you can assess their suitability to the role or provide the support they might need to improve. Listen carefully to any complaints members of staff may have about their managers and keep an eye out for any of the following behaviours, these are best dealt with sooner rather than later.
This form of management isn’t always a bad thing but can have negative side effects. On the one hand this type of manager gives their staff plenty of autonomy and responsibility which is great, but on the other hand they may fail to give staff the support they need and often force members of their team to take on informal leadership positions because they have failed to provide the necessary direction themselves.
The Good Cop/Bad Cop Boss
The boss who chooses favourites can be toxic in a team environment. This manager makes no secret of choosing favourites and playing these members of staff against each other to compete for their favour. Behaviour like this can appear jovial but when it affects the workplace in a real way it can divide the team and breeds hostility towards leadership.
They set tasks and then watch over everyone’s shoulders to ensure the work is done just the way they would do it. This is the ultimate de-motivator because no matter how brilliant someone could be at their job, they never get the chance to show it or take on responsibility. A true creativity killer.
The workaholic is so driven that they demand too much from their staff by extension. This individual has no personal limit on their workload and cannot relate to those who do. They may also be guilty of contacting their staff outside of work hours because they haven’t switched off, leaving people feeling obligated to respond in their personal time.
An entire team work towards a goal but when it comes to taking the glory this manager always seems to come up trumps. They don’t ask for feedback on their own work or management style because they don’t consider that they could be a problem but they do plate up criticism without hesitation. This manager is another prime suspect for stamping out motivation and in extreme cases can leave staff feeling belittled and unappreciated.
What should you do in the instance of identifying a bad manager? Here are three quick improvement methods from Oli Hartley, Head of Learning and Development at Resource Management.
1) Identifying whether the problem is a technical issue or a matter of bad attitude. This helps distinguish between whether the person can be developed through knowledge and skill improvement or whether the situation is more complex.
2) Decipher what a good manager looks like for your business. By looking at those who are great at their job you can analyse the skills gap between these individuals and those who are struggling. This will give your training direction because you will have a clear idea of what you are aiming for.
3) Construct a blending learning approach which is tailored to which issues you have identified. For technical skills gaps you will need to design a programme which accounts for how the individual learns best to improve their technical ability, i.e. via workplace practice, video learning or verbal teaching. In instances of issues with attitude, it is best to look to senior leadership to help the individual via guidance, motivation and support.
About Resource Management: we provide a comprehensive range of services throughout the UK and Europe and specialise in the provision of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Managed Service Provider (MSP) programmes. We have been trading for almost 20 years, providing resourcing solutions to a range of blue chip clients from SME to FTSE 100 constituents.