By: Run ADP
Managers play a critical role in hiring and motivating employees, enforcing policies and rules, and promoting a fair and productive workplace. This is particularly true for small employers, where a single bad manager can wreak havoc. Here are 10 signs you may have a bad manager:
#1: Takes all the credit, none of the blame.
Public recognition can be a powerful motivational tool for employees. If managers accept all of the credit for successful projects, it can have the opposite effect. Make sure managers recognize employees’ contributions consistently and take responsibility when things go wrong.
#2: Employees seem surprised by their performance rating.
Managers should provide performance feedback throughout the year and not wait until a formal review at the end of the year. If you are noticing employees are surprised by what they find in their annual performance review, a lack of ongoing feedback may be to be blame.
#3: Performance feedback is too good (or bad) to be true.
If managers give every employee high marks or every employee low ratings, this can leave employees feeling that performance isn’t valued. Make sure managers evaluate employees on legitimate, job-related factors, and that reviews accurately reflect employee performance. Train managers on how to set appropriate performance goals and provide effective feedback. Additionally, consider having a member of senior management and/or HR review the ratings before delivering reviews to employees.
#4: More turnover/transfer requests.
Employees who feel they have a bad boss are more likely to quit or request a transfer to another department. Monitor turnover and conduct exit interviews to find out why employees are leaving. Following a transfer request, ask the employee what prompted the request for a change. Additionally, look for ways employees can provide anonymous feedback about their supervisors, such as regular surveys or during the performance review process.
#5: They think they’re above the rules.
Managers need to set a good example. If they aren’t following basic rules and expectations (such as by coming to work late, leaving early, skipping training, arriving at meetings late, failing to return emails and phone calls), employees may follow suit. Hold managers accountable for following the rules and expectations you set for all employees.
#6: Allows ‘star’ employees to break rules.
While it is a good idea to reward high-performing employees, they should still be held to the same standards and rules. If employees see managers treating ‘star’ employees leniently when they break the rules, it will likely breed a culture of mistrust, prevent employees from coming forward with complaints should they witness misconduct, and encourage others to break the rules. Make sure managers enforce rules and policies consistently.
#7: Discipline is too soft or too hard.
When deciding what form of discipline to take when an employee violates your performance or conduct standards, consider the severity of the offense, the employee’s past performance and conduct, and how you have treated other employees in similar situations (to ensure consistency). Employee discipline can take many forms, but managers should work with other senior leaders to ensure disciplinary action fairly addresses the circumstances.
#8: Fails to keep adequate documentation.
Without proper documentation of past performance and conduct, managers can put employers in a difficult position. Documentation can help support employment decisions and show that you provided the employee with an opportunity to improve. Hold managers accountable for thoroughly documenting all performance and conduct issues as well as disciplinary actions, including verbal warnings and counseling sessions.
#9: Their job offers keep getting rejected.
There are many reasons that a candidate might decline a job offer. However, it is also possible that the candidate’s interactions with a bad manager during the hiring process could be the cause. Ensure that managers are properly trained on the hiring process and that they’re putting their best foot forward.
#10: Always gives employees a hard time about taking time off.
Various federal, state, and local laws prohibit employers from discouraging employees from taking leave to which they are entitled. Even if you offer the leave voluntarily, time off from work is important for employees to recharge and take care of personal responsibilities. Rarely should managers discourage employees from using the time they’ve earned.
The problems above can be addressed with proper training, policies, and oversight. Make sure you devote the time and resources to making your managers successful.