Bad Bosses and Bad Managers
Not much can be worse for workplace culture than employees walking into a workplace and being slapped in the face by negative energy from bad bosses. Bad bosses can make or break the workplace culture—employees can feel unappreciated and, ultimately, unmotivated to work. Unwanted criticism to a job can make employees feel like they don’t have good work ethic. Essentially, a team usually will not respond well to bad bosses.
When managers keep sitting on the problems in a workplace rather than aiming at a solution, the vision of the business becomes less distinctive. Bosses who constantly pick out what employees are not doing right, they put emphasis on the negatives of that person. Productivity is lessened when someone who has an unconstructive perspective manages the workplace. If a business works to be a place that fosters energy and innovation, a bad boss can hinder the team from accomplished its goals.
Bad Boss Characteristics and Signs of a Poor Manager
A healthy relationship between a boss and his or her employee is essential for the success of a business. People stray away from negative energy. Bad bosses who exert negative energy in a workplace carelessly build a gap between themselves and their employees. This obstructs fluent and free communication within a workplace and hampers job satisfaction. Bad bosses who present negativity in a workplace do a bad job of managing the employees, unless the employees share this negative outlook with their boss. If the entire team fosters this negative energy in a workplace, small problems build into big issues and, eventually, employees will start worry about retaining their jobs. This plays a big role in the reputation of a company—if the employees do not enjoy this business, why would customers?
Here are some characteristics bad bosses or managers may possess:
Bad managers are usually narcissists. Their idea is that they are the center of the business and the employee’s do not matter. They do not care for what the employees may be going through with their personal lives, but rather just about how their employees make them look. This may include taking credit for their employee’s hard work. Bad bosses have no shame in stealing the credit for their employee’s accomplishments and do not care for their bosses to know whom to really thank for the job well done. They may spend an unsatisfactory amount of time necessary to provide good direction for their employees and, rather, spend most of their time sucking up to their bosses.
Some managers inflict a sense of fear in their employees. They manage through intimidation. This encourages a sense of distrust and anxiety in a workplace. They treat their employees like puppets. They may do this by, literally, yelling at their employees. Some bosses feel that the louder they yell, the better they are heard—which isn’t the case. This type of behavior is found more often than not in many workplaces. This begins to tamper workplace politics and obstruct employee performance. Bullying can also consist of ruining relationships among peer employees and actively turning friends into foes to benefit themselves.
Some bosses like to intimidate their employees even in meetings by humiliating them in front of an audience. A lot of this public degradation is a projection of the poor manager’s own insecurities—they feel better putting another employee under the spotlight for something they don’t like about themselves.
There is always a boss who is both a terrible listener and an awful communicator. They way a manager communicates with an employee by giving clear instruction in an appropriate manner directly correlates with a positive workplace culture. Giving vague direction is what bad managers believe empowers them, since they safeguard information for themselves. They, inadvertently, contradict themselves and end up not making sense. Their cryptic reports take a long time for employees to decode.
What’s worse? They don’t care to listen to their employees. These types of managers selectively hear only what they wish to and are never fully present in engagements with their employees. These types of bad bosses never apologize for missteps and never like to take responsibility for their wrong actions.
Lastly, these managers are usually unavailable. They are totally absent in times of crisis, when an important action is to be taken or decision to be made. These types of situations require good direction for employees.
Bad bosses have this obsessive need to always be right. They may be strongly opinionated and constantly have something to say about how everyone else is doing something wrong. They play victim in, only, this sense by playing the blame game. Lacking any and all personal accountability and never taking responsibility, they more often than not, point fingers elsewhere when they break rules and like to place blame on others. This, also, is a sense of empowerment for them. Since they are the boss, they “obviously” know better than the employees they manage. This provision of false information will end up being damaging for a business’ productivity.
Usually, bad bosses are very unreasonable. They never give praise to employees who deserve it and are quick to be disparaging. They never say thank you and never acknowledge work that deserves recognition. This appreciation is significant to an employee’s drive. If employees never feel like they are doing something right, they lose their motivation.
Poor managers like to set goals that are unrealistic and nearly impossible to achieve. So even when employees may try their hardest, they still feel that they are not performing up to par.
Bad bosses and managers favor those employees who flatter them rather than those who perform. They tolerate sub-par work and effort so long as the employee sucks up to them. This enables employees to give a below average performance and elevate, if not, maintain their position.
Micromanagers are a breed of bad managers who obsessively look for problems in employees’ work ethic. This can become intensely frustrating for employees as they work. Especially, managers who are indecisive and come to a halt when needed to make a decision, these managers can become extremely controlling. They struggle for power over employees and make no room for creativity.
Manipulative and Vengeful
These managers have their own agenda and use their employees as a part of their scheme. They manipulate their employees as though a game. This maneuvering of employees toys with their feelings and energies. If ever disagreeing or intimidating this type of manager and threatening his or her authority, they will come back to the employee with the same threat with a vengeance. Even if the employee’s questioning of the manager was backed with good intention, employees’ tend to hold back in expressing positive criticism just to save their jobs.
Bad Manager Behavior
An incompetent manager is the worst kind of them all. A boss who pushes off his or her workload onto employees, feels that he or she is entitled to the position and pay promotes the idea that position is power and hard work achieves nothing in terms of promotion. These types of managers, typically, take no accountability. Their motives are not genuine, and ultimately, they work with no integrity. There is no honesty to back their work ethic, but they don’t care. Overworking his or her employees, making false promises, and, sometimes, setting employees up to fail are all behaviors of a poor manager who seeks validation. It does not matter to them who gets thrown under the bus for something they did not deserve to as long as they look good.
This type of behavior screams insecurity. Deep down, these bosses are not confident that they can genuinely get a job done with their own merit and efforts. LinkedIn presents an article that describes the 10 worst bad boss behaviors.
How to Deal With An Incompetent Boss
When employees are forced to combat a situation involving an incompetent boss, they have to remember their morals and values. Also, they have to remember what position they are in. Nobody is totally powerless in this type of situation, but they are not entirely powerful, either. Employees should try to understand the message coming from the boss and, maybe even their situation. They should also see what part they played in the whole situation and understand why it resulted in the way it did. What did the boss say that was actually true? It may just be a lack of intelligent communication.
Employees should set clear boundaries for themselves and ensure that nobody steps over those boundaries. When allowing a boss to overstep those lines, employees are invariably enabling that type of behavior. Also, it promotes dishonesty, since what the employee is sincerely thinking is not what they are actively speaking.
Report a Bad Boss
There are steps employees can take in terms of battling a situation in which they are uncomfortable with the management they are under. First, employees should write a detailed incident list as forms of grievances. Then, these grievances should be presented to higher ups or human resources. Complaints should be directed to higher ups before reaching human resources. If the situation is completely out of control and there is a serious moral infraction in the relationship between an employee and his or her boss, employees should consider hiring an attorney to settle the situation with a judge.
The entire purpose of management is to direct the employees and instill a sense of creativity and encouragement in a workplace. The manager is responsible for the workplace culture and infuses accountability with integrity in employees. When a manager is incapable of improving employees’ work ethic, the management is, basically, ineffective. When employees fear for their job security that becomes their main focus when they walk into the office. Everyone responds to positive energy rather than negative, because this prevents the work from being undesirable and stressful.