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Last updated: 23.06.17

How to tell if you’re a bad manager

While your managerial techniques may be by the book, there could be ways you can improve. Here we take a look at signs that could mean your management needs altering.

Managers across all sectors have different techniques when it comes to organising their workloads and managing their staff. While some will pride themselves on the wellbeing and progression of their staff, others will focus more on results and delivery. And no specific way of managing is correct. It all depends on the industry, business, company culture and values, among other factors.

What is certain, however, is that a great leader usually requires a combination of good people management skills, compassion, strategic planning and vision. But they also must be open to feedback and every now and then reflect on whether their strategy is effective.

Although annual appraisals do help here, they are often more focused on employees, rather than the manager. So how can managers tell if they’re doing a good job or not? Here we look at a few signs that may point to you being a bad manager.

Pushing 121 meetings aside

As a manager, extra responsibility means more work and being super busy a lot of the time. Appraisals and 121 meetings with employees can often take a lot of time out of the schedule and are often pushed back, rearranged and sometimes forgotten about. However, doing so can be detrimental to your team as failing to meet up with employees regularly can lead to the escalation of minor issues, misinterpretation, and poor wellbeing.

Even just a ten minute 121 with workers will help them feel valued and appreciated, while also keeping up morale. It’s also important for managers to understand that the meeting should be a two-way conversation, where both parties listen to each other and discuss any issues.

Failing to enforce company culture

As a manager, it is your responsibility to enforce company culture. Of course, projects and day-to-day tasks are of immediate concern, but it is important for managers to encourage company culture and consider the overarching strategic aims of the company. Failing to remember core company values does not set a good example for the rest of your team.

To address this, you can help both yourself and your employees enforce company culture by providing refresher training that outlines these goals and values.

Being intimidating or unapproachable

No good manager should be intimidating or unapproachable. This type of behaviour is not constructive or helpful to any work environment. Nevertheless, sometimes managers can be doing this without being aware of it. Instead of having a ‘they work for me’ attitude, managers should work with their teams, rather than telling them what they should and should not be doing.

Managers who act in this way, run the risk of shutting down communication within the team as employees are afraid to ask questions or voice their opinions. Just listening and acknowledging hard work can go a long way in terms of team productivity.

Not providing constructive feedback

In order to improve, every professional - whether it be a board-level executive or a graduate employee - requires feedback. Failure to present workers with constructive criticism will just leave them feeling confused and unaware of how to correct their mistakes. In turn, career progression and personal development is stunted, which is detrimental for the business overall.

Be specific when providing feedback by telling workers exactly what it is that needs improving. Often, general feedback can be confusing and less effective.


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