Working in management isn’t for everyone. Some people lack interest or the ability to lead and manage others. And still, others pursue managerial roles for the wrong reasons.
You may already have an idea of what poor management looks like. Or, you may have no clue at all and simply want to stay prepared and keep your business running smoothly.
Sometimes, people are motivated by higher pay or assumptions of respect and influence. Other people believe they’ll have more control over their workload by delegating responsibility to subordinates. There are many signs of a poor manager. Let’s explore the top three signs a manager is failing your business below.
Signs of a bad manager
Over-managing or micromanaging employees
Do you ever see a manager constantly hovering over employees? If you’ve seen Office Space, then you know the hovering we mean. This kind of helicopter behavior is a common sign of mismanagement.
One of the biggest issues for new or underdeveloped managers is determining how much managing is needed. Different projects and teams require more or less attention. A clear sign of mismanagement arises when leaders overstep their bounds.
You’ll likely notice a dip in productivity, employee satisfaction, or both. Micromanaged employees aren’t treated as trustworthy, which makes them question the value of their contributions. Wasted time managing minor or unessential tasks also tanks performance.
When managers overlook the overall vision of a team or project, productivity declines. If employees already question their skills and abilities, imagine how difficult it is to complete milestones on time. If employees feel they must check in with their supervisor for every task, work takes significantly longer.
Overvaluing minute tasks stifle management’s leadership potential, too. It challenges employees’ trust and respect when leadership communicates a lack of trust with micromanaging. Managers also waste precious hours checking team messaging statuses, peeking at employee desktops, and refusing to delegate appropriate responsibilities.
Emphasizing goals over relationships
One of the other major signs of poor leadership stems from poor prioritization. Some leaders place far too much emphasis on performance metrics and goals. Although these are important aspects for any business, they’re not the only things of value.
Good managers recognize the importance of quality over quantity in certain aspects of a business. When it comes to managing people, it’s all about quality interactions. If you have a sales or production team trying to hit a quota, the number is only a result of the hard work.
Getting a team to meet or exceed their expected goals depends on how the team is lead. Managers fail when they treat their employees as units of production instead of people. When leaders are out of touch with employees, assumptions are made.
Emphasizing results over the processes (and people) that generate them degrades the quality of these results. A good leader acts for the long term, nurturing relationships to boost productivity, satisfaction, and motivation. Happy employees stay longer than dissatisfied ones.
Poor organization and communication
The biggest signs of a poor manager involve poor organization and communication. If micromanaging is happening, it’s likely because leadership and employees are out of touch. Without a healthy back and forth, important information is lost.
When managers don’t check in with employees (outside of formal reviews), they miss vital interaction. This weakens relationships, making it harder to motivate teams on a personal level. Innovating a business is much harder when employees lack that personal touch.
Employees need to feel that they can speak up during meetings. They deserve to feel safe approaching managers with new ideas or concerns. Managers can create open lines of communication with more informal check-ins.
Strong leaders may even solicit feedback from their teams. A confident leader understands how to open the door for employees to be honest and confident in any professional conversation.
Developing managers into strong leaders
You can prevent the signs of a bad manager before they truly harm your business. The most important thing to remember is that a good manager can be developed. Even those people who seemed least likely to manage a project or team can be taught.
Identifying new paths for professional development can strengthen current management. It might even encourage other employees to step forward and take on new responsibilities. Providing opportunities for strong leaders to emerge will benefit your company as a whole.
After you’ve taken the time to identify why you’re experiencing poor management, you can adapt. This change may involve training individuals or placing them into new positions. It may even involve a complete overhaul of existing structures.
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