Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Signs of a Poor Manager

Have you ever had a bad boss? Chances are yes, because if you have been in the job market and had even just a few jobs, the likelihood of one of those bosses being terrible is pretty high. A bad boss can really make an employee’s day- well, everyday for that matter- awful. Bad managers can also bring the morale of the entire team down while compromising the company culture. It’s easy to spot a bad boss for yourself, but do you think you would be able to tell if you were a bad boss or not? What if you were the boss that your employees really disliked? “Who, me?!” It can be really difficult to spot the negatives in ourselves, especially when we are supposed to be in charge of leading others. However, if no one is a poor manager (according to themselves) then where are all of these bad managers coming from?

The fact of the matter is, though you may not be a poor manager, you may also have no idea if you are. No one is going to walk up to you and tell you that you are a poor manager since that would note bode very well for them. Instead, just to be sure, take a look at some of these signs of a poor manager and take some time to see if you fit the mold at all. The good news is that if you do, there is always time to start making some changes. If you don’t fit the mold then congratulations! But don’t let it get to your head.

Perhaps one of the first- and most obvious- signs of a bad manager is that the majority of their employees are unhappy. Here at Spark Hire we talk a lot about employee engagement and employee morale so you should certainly be able to pinpoint whether or not your employees are happy and engaged with their jobs. As Small Business Chron points out, there will always be employees that are talking behind your back. That kind of just comes with the territory. You delegate tasks and inevitably someone will have an issue with how you operate. On the other hand though, it’s very different if your entire team is voicing concern and is unhappy with you as their manager.

Just the other day we talked about how a high turnover rate impacts your company. If your department or team in particular has a pretty high turnover rate, then it may be time to look at your management skills and style. It could be the job, true, but if people on your team are constantly dropping like flies, it’s probably you. If you suspect this is the situation you are in, start first by communicating with your team to see how they are feeling.

Going along with this first indication, decreased or low productivity is another sign that your management style isn’t quite working. When employees dislike their manager, or feel they are working for a poor manager, it’s somewhat difficult to be highly productive. Chances are they feel you are not the best person for the leader position, are disengaged with their work and do what it takes to just slide by. Your employees probably aren’t going above and beyond and their motivation is probably pretty low- or non-existent. Make sure that you are a manager that shows employee appreciation in order to keep the morale and motivation up. Set clear goals and make sure you and your employees are on the same page. The best way to do this is to have continual communication.

Another thing that Small Business Chron points out about poor managers is that they are generally afraid of change. In order to succeed and grow as a company, there needs to be change. If you seem to always be resisting change then it may be time to wake up and change yourself. In order for your team to be the best, you need to grab hold of the latest techniques, technology or news in your industry. You cannot grow if you do not try new things out and change. Be more open to new things and remember that you want your team to be the best it can be, and that cannot come without some changes down the line.

Last in line for the characteristics of a bad manager is poor listening skills. When we were talking about how to keep a team motivated just a couple days ago, we mentioned how important it is to listen to your employees to show them you value their opinion. Not only that, but employees want more than anything to feel “in” on things and that includes listening to what they have to say. In fact, employees want this more than better wages, according to the infographic. If you are striving to be a good manager, then start by listening to your employees. It can really make a world of difference.

If you need some more guidance in terms of how to be a great manager, take a look at the 7 highly effective habits of good managers and start striving to be that manager that your employees appreciate and enjoy working for.

Do you think that your management skills could use a little spruce up? Leave a comment with any questions you have or just share with us your story!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by mateoutah

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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