If your manager exhibits one of more of these traits, chances are you’ve got yourself a bad boss.
by Raven Moore
1. They never leave the office
The door may even remain shut most of the day. They do this because they hate their job. To avoid confronting this harsh reality on a daily basis, they sit in their office seething. Isolated. Secluded.
And, maybe eating.
2. They never stay in the office
You can never find these people. In fairness, ineffective managers may be forced to travel a lot. Beyond that, they make themselves as unavailable as possible no matter where they are (or aren’t).
3. They communicate at a bare minimum, so they assume people can read their minds
Paying attention to office politics is an unheard-of skill to the mismanaging boss. They claim they’re so engrossed in their own job, they can’t be bothered with following up with others. They assume somebody would know they’re too busy to come to this meeting or be present for that conference call.
4. They make third-party comments in reference to their own employees
If your manager is working well at being ineffective, employees are complaining about each other full blast. So, what does your manager do? They mention comments various coworkers brought to them about other employees and relay such thoughts to you in the form of a performance evaluation.
Don’t be (too) offended. They’re incapable of critiquing your job performance from their own perspective in the first place.
5. They have no problem alienating people
This is done through nepotism or cronyism. Either way, their cliquishness drives down employee morale. People perform at the bare minimum because they become so frustrated.
By this time, the ineffective manager has lost the respect of fellow employees and wonders why the department isn’t pulling the same results from, say, three years ago (before they became boss).
6. They coddle rude, difficult or all-around crazy employees
Breeding an environment for bullies, hostile meanies or unstable coworkers are bad news. Folks like that end up setting the tone for the department (instead of your weakling boss). Managers who ignore this bad behavior are doomed to suffer high turnover, an unstable work environment and dissatisfied workers.
7. They have double standards
If the manager makes a mistake, it’s okay: “We’re in the learning phases.” If you make a mistake, you get written up. This doesn’t always apply to the boss. This is also played out amongst their cronies. Thus, managers will have no qualms sweeping certain mistakes under the rug while blasting others who suffer under their ineffective and incompetent management skills.
In the not-so-long run, these tactics actually cost your company money.
8. No one knows what the boss does—and for that matter, no one knows what anybody else does, either
Despite job descriptions, an effectively run department includes knowing what people do. This helps any business run smoothly. Coworkers prefacing questions with “I don’t know if these are your job duties, but…” is a problem.
And if people don’t know how their boss spends his/her workday, that’s confusion fueled by crappy management.
9. They train you wrong and get upset when you don’t do your job correctly
Actually, no one is training you if you have an ineffective manager. What happens is that other coworkers (who don’t know what you do, anyway) train you on how to operate the copier and show you where the lunch room is located. You spend a majority of your time wondering why you were hired in first place. Then, you can’t figure out how to make the most of your eight-hour work day.
Or wait for Number 10…
10. They fire people who are under-utilized, only to replace them with people who will be under-utilized even more
Bad managers don’t know how to make the most out of their current employees. They’ll claim they’re firing those poor (under-utilized) souls for bad performance. But in reality, they believe they’ll just hire their way to star performers who mind-read into effective contributions and meaningful job performances.
Such tactics keep a company out of a steady business rhythm and impede productivity. Ineffective managers, nonetheless, don’t know that.
They’re kind of dumb.
11. They blame the economy
Bad economies and recessions are wonderful performance boosters for awful management. When things are in the toilet, such distractions provide a great scapegoat for otherwise poor performance and less-than-stellar results.
It’s to their advantage to use slow business and an uncertain job climate as a dangling measure to keep jittery employees nervous and even more desperate to hang onto their jobs.
I’d love it if you could add to my list—I’m sure this isn’t everything a bad manager can do. What else is there?