KEY IDEA: Gallup research over the years has concluded that 50 percent of employees leave their jobs “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.” Bad managers are hiding in plain sight but too many organizations fail to weed out the real cause of people leaving their company.
A good leader, and manager, care about their people. A bad manager, on the other hand, care only about his/her status within the company and producing results. They often send emails after business hours and expect employees to answer and they think that employees who work at home are goofing off. It’s really bad.
I have worked for both really good managers and really bad ones. The bad ones drove me away from trying to be successful and ultimately led me to look for another job. Over the years I have heard clients, over a beer, talk about some of the bad managers they work with and I could sense their pain and frustration.
Those who think that their bad manager problem will resolved by HR are kidding themselves. Bad managers hide their incompetence by being politically well connected. It’s gotten so bad that millennials are now job hopping like rabbits in a field.
I don’t believe that bad managers can be transformed into good managers by reading a book or attending a conference. Senior executives need to make it a top priority to identify and remove bad managers before they do lasting damage to their company.
What to do if you work for a bad manager?
1ne: Keep a personal file of all examples of bad management initiatives.
2wo: Follow up all conversations with an email of key discussions.
3hree: Don’t go to HR unless you have firm documentation of your managers poor performance. Even if you do expect that nothing will be done and be prepared that this is the first step in leaving your job.
4our: Do not talk about your manager with other employees. Too many people are only interested in keeping their jobs.
5ive: If your manager is giving you that “punched in stomach” feeling you need to decide what’s better: quitting and looking for work or staying and dealing with high levels of stress.
6ix: Understand that if you do go to HR they are likely to inform your manager that you came to them with a complaint thus creating further animosity.
The job market is good right now and life is too damn short to work for someone who is clueless when it comes to managing. The decision to move on to another job is never an easy one but you have to decide what’s better; your personal well being or continuing to receive a paycheck. Don’t sell your emotional health for a paycheck.
Originally published at newmanagementandhr.com on February 23, 2019.