Fuel your future with the tools you need to succeed. Download our FREE Ultimate Manager Toolkit.

Top 10 Signs of a Bad Manager

signs of a bad manager

As a member of upper management or a decision-maker in your company, you know the signs of a bad manager, and a good manager can make all the difference in the world when it comes to retention, employee morale, and productivity. On the opposite side of the coin, however, is the bad manager.

If you’re concerned about the management style of someone on your staff, here are ten tips, tricks, and pointers for spotting signs of a bad manager.

  1. Lack of Clear Expectations – A great manager wants their staff to know exactly what’s expected of them, so they provide regular feedback and effectively communicate their expectations to staffers. Not-so-great managers do not set clear expectations and tend to provide only negative feedback, leaving those who report to them never quite sure where they stand.
  2. Excessive Micromanagement – You want a manager who checks in on employees, makes sure they’re doing well, and understands the need to train new hires effectively. What you don’t want is a micromanager breathing down peoples’ necks while they attempt to hit productivity goals, meddling with small procedures, and otherwise interfering in the jobs your team members are hired to complete. There is a direct link between a micromanagement style of management and burnt-out employees who are resigning and never felt trusted or valued in their roles.
  3. Credit Hoarding – Everyone has experienced a manager or direct report at their place of work who either did not credit the people who’d done the lion’s share of the work or, worse, claimed it for themselves. 
  4. Persistent Negativity – Sometimes, the world is a hard and depressing place, but that’s not the vibe you want in your workspace. Signs of a bad manager is someone who is insistent upon carrying the most negative possible perceptions into every conversation are difficult to work for and tend to always find fault. After a while, forget staying motivated, upbeat, and positive; your team members will just leave altogether. 
  5. Issues with Inconsistency – Just like any good leader, a good manager must be consistent in their behavior, communication, and expectations. Inconsistency in leadership translates to chaos across the team.
  6. Poor Communication – Perhaps more than any other skill, a manager must be adept in communicating with team members, clients, and anyone else they interact with in an official capacity. Clear, concise communication means team members know exactly what is expected of them; they also know the ease of communication flows both ways and are more likely to voice important concerns with a manager who communicates well. Vague responses, unclear direction, and lack of guidance create the opposite environment. 
  7. Lack of Support – Managers who support their teams have loyal, productive, engaged members. Managers who are not supportive do not offer guidance and don’t send a clear message of having their teams’ backs foster a much less pleasant environment. 
  8. Not Playing Fair – Some people aren’t interested in fairness; they’re interested in productivity and efficiency. These make exactly the kind of managers you don’t want to head up a team. When staff knows their manager plays favorites with some and discriminates against others, that team simply will not stick around. 
  9. Poor Role Model – Ideally, your staffers should look up to their direct managers as inspirations; after all, don’t they want to move up in the company, earn more and grow? How can they do that if their manager isn’t much of an aspirational figure?
  10. Poor Leadership – It isn’t possible for a poor leader to be a good manager because the roles are one and the same. Great managers motivate and inspire; they get in the trenches, work when needed, and get the best out of their team through pure respect.

Worried about management on your team? Talent Curve can help you bring your human resources woes under control through training, coaching, and a host of other services aimed at helping your company be the best it can be.

Make Your Team Unstoppable

Get Instant Access To The Toolkit