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Blog·HR Management

August 22, 2018

7 Manager characteristics to avoid

If you want to become a good manager, make sure to avoid these management no-no’s! Find out the most important manager characteristics to avoid when leading an effective team.

As the saying goes, people don't leave jobs, they leave managers. It is common knowledge that the main reason why employees quit their job is having a bad manager. According to Gallup, 75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses and not the position itself. It is therefore essential to be aware of the key manager characteristics to avoid to ensure that your workplace remains a positive place to work.

Bad Management is a Disaster for Teams and Business

As a manager, you have a huge influence on your employees' experience and happiness at work. Poor management is a disaster for both teams and organizations as it suppresses employee morale and happiness. A business with a large number of unhappy employees will record increased absenteeism and lower performance, customer ratings and profit.

Managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores.

The impact of poor leadership goes further than just engagement, it can also undermine your company's culture and their efforts to improve employee well-being.

Managers and leaders play a crucial role in their organizations, influencing everything from business operations to company culture, therefore it is essential that you understand what makes a great manager, and what doesn't, in order to engage and motivate employees and ultimately improve your business's bottom line.

7 Managers Characteristics to Avoid

We have already 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!

7 manager characteristics to avoid

1. Micromanagement

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.

Resolution: Focus on delegating tasks. Every member of your team is there for a reason. By entrusting your team with more responsibility, you will empower them to achieve great results in their unique way, rather than communicating a lack of trust.

2. Neglecting 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.

Resolution: It is important to recognize the great work that your team have done. Congratulate your team regularly when they complete their work to a high standard, and celebrate their achievements. When managers appreciate their employees, it results in a boost in morale. Check out some employee recognition examples here.

3. Being 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.

Resolution: A manager should never use their power abusively. Instead, a good manager should use their knowledge to equip their employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to grow and maintain success for the business. A good manager should lead the team by delegating duties to employees, whilst focusing themselves on more pressing issues that require greater expertise.

4. 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.

Resolution: Good mangers understand the importance and value of each member of their team. Every employee brings something different to the table, and it is important to treat the team equally to avoid discrimination in the workplace.

5. Avoiding 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.

Resolution: It is essential to be proactive about handling conflict, spot the signs early and act on them. Whilst is tempting to focus on your own feelings of discomfort, as a manager is more important to act in the teams best interest. If you do nothing to address conflict, problems will linger and your team will become resentful, and the likelihood is that the problem will not go away on its own.

6. Being a Rigid Policy Maker

Whilst policy guidelines exist to be followed, enforcing them absolutely can be detrimental to your team. Strictly enforcing company procedures without any leniency can lead to a tense team environment where employees are afraid to think outside the box or take risks. Mistakes happen, and immediately punishing them is a sign of a bad manager.

Resolution: 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. As a manager, it is important to find a balance between leniency and strictness when responding to mistakes and generating policies.

7. Not Setting 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.

Resolution: 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.

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