7 Characteristics for Managers to Avoid
Being a manager can be rewarding and enjoyable, but often it is also very challenging. One thing we know - being a manager is always busy! We’ve outlined the 7 characteristics of a good manager, but what are the features of bad management? Regardless of the industry, culture or size of your organisation, if you want to become a good manager, make sure to avoid these management no-no’s!
Micromanagement is a style wherein the manager meticulously observes and/or controls the work of their employees. Micromanagement gives the impression you don’t trust your employees to take on responsibility, which restricts employee autonomy and drains their engagement and motivation. Management should offer constructive criticism and be supportive without being autocratic, invasive and over-bearing.
2. Neglects Recognition
Employee recognition is a recurring theme in the performance management domain, but its importance cannot be understated. Employee retention, lower absenteeism, improved team cohesion and greater productivity are just a few of the benefits. A good manager shows his appreciation to his team when necessary - not just on a yearly basis at the appraisal. A bad manager who neglects to give recognition where it’s due will quickly find their employees losing direction and lacking motivation.
3. Is Abusive with Power
A sinister, almost film villain-like characteristic. It is easy to become abusive with power and to take advantage of your employees when you are above them in the organisational hierarchy. Good managers recognise that the power ascribed to them is a privilege and not a tool to wield unjustly.
4. Uses Favouritism
It is within human nature to enjoy working with those who you share a greater affinity with. However, there are a number of pitfalls associated with favouritism in the workplace. At a very basically level it is intrinsically unfair, which in turn, is a quick and easy way to lose the respect of your team. Managers who also fall foul of favouritism may excuse poor quality of work or exclude employees in favour of a select few. Although to you these may seem like small issues, from the perspective of the employee these are particularly damaging. Favouritism can lower the morale of other employees, reducing engagement and lowering productivity.
5. Avoids Conflict
Management covers a wide range of roles, one of which involves addressing and resolving conflict in a democratic and effective manner. Managed conflict is an essential component to aiding team growth. It is important that when issues arise they are not avoided or ignored. When managed effectively there are a so many benefits to be seen including: the quality of decision-making; improved creativity; increased scope of view; increased participation from team members and more effective communication.
6. Becomes a Rigid Policy Maker
Mistakes happen. There is no need to employ an autocratic approach to every mistake made. When a mistake is made, have a healthy one-on-one meeting about the source of the issue, the impact and resolution. Engender a constructive attitude and make sure that it is a learning curve for the employee. With that being said, it is important not to be over lenient. You cannot allow for continuous mistakes of the same nature or from the same employee. As a manager, it is important to find a balance between leniency and strictness when responding to mistakes and generating policies.
7. Sets No Clear Goals or Objectives
The overriding factor which differentiates a group of people from an effective team is a clear goal. A bad manager provides no clear goals and no action plan. This leaves a team of employees in complete disarray. With no clear objectives and no coherent communication from their manager, team productivity, satisfaction and engagement rapidly declines. This has a huge impact on departmental and organisational success.
A good manager talks with their team at the beginning of the performance cycle and identifies primary and secondary business objectives. A good manager explains what being a top performer means and has meetings regularly to discuss performance and expectations. An effective manager discusses the outcomes and results of a task with the team, allows employees to get their work done and trusts them to execute their tasks. A great manager makes a personal investment in their team's success. They take the time to discuss their goals with the team and helps them achieve these ambitions.