5 Bad Manager Habits You Need to Avoid

May 5, 2016
5 Bad Manager Habits You Need to Avoid

Maybe you read our article about the 5 surprising habits that will make you a more influential leader. Today, I want to turn that on its head and talk to you about 5 of the most horrible habits exhibited by some of the world’s most disgusting managers.

Before I start, let me reassure you that having these habits does not make you a bad person. But it probably does make you a bad manager – so if you’re guilty, it’s time to confess your sins (to yourself, not your local priest) and make things right by kicking these bad manager habits out for good.

Horrible Habit #1: Breaking Your Word

– What’s The Problem? You make too many empty promises, and your employees have had enough. Ever wondered why your latest incentive just isn’t motivating anybody? Or why employees don’t seem to care that you have an important deadline just around the corner? It’s because your team members don’t believe a word you say – they’ve heard your lies too many times! Put simply, your employees don’t trust you, and it’s affecting the quality of their work.

– How Do I Fix It? Make fewer promises. In a nutshell, you should never make a promise unless you’re sure you can keep it. Your employees will forgive the occasional slip up, but that’s no reason to become delusional and use empty promises to get yourself out of tight situations.

Horrible Habit #2: Making a Public Example of Employees

– What’s The Problem? You’re embarrassing your employees publicly when they make a mistake, and they don’t like it. Maybe it’s because you’re responding instinctively to a problem on the office floor, or maybe it’s because you want to feel like you’re the boss. You might even think that by dealing with a problem publicly, you’re stopping other employees from making the same mistake in future… but either way, it’s probably not working for you, and you need to wind your neck in.

– How Do I Fix It? Try dealing with issues privately. This shows your employees that you care about their feelings, and it gives you chance to really consider how you’re going to handle a problem before you take action. At a minimum, there will be less embarrassment and your employees will respect you more.

Horrible Habit #3: Invading Privacy

– What’s The Problem? You’re constantly concerned about what your employees are up to, and you’re getting in their private space. Whether it’s standing behind them and watching them work, monitoring their internet activity a little too closely, or even visiting their Facebook profile one too many times… people don’t normally perform as well when they know that Big Brother is watching.

– How Do I Fix It? Let them get on with their jobs. You’ll know something is wrong if they’re not delivering expected results – so let them do their thing. It isn’t cool to breathe down your people’s necks, and you certainly don’t have the right to know more about their personal life than they’re willing to share with you. Relax!

Horrible Habit #4: Failing to Reward Good Work

– What’s The Problem? You’re noticing good performance, but failing to show your appreciation. Look, I get it – you don’t want to give your employees an ego rush that causes them to swagger into work the next day feeling like they’re cock of the flock. But if they deserve it, is that such a bad thing? And besides, if you fail to at least say “well done” when somebody does something good, where’s their incentive to repeat that action?

-How Do I Fix It? Keep an eye on performance, and when you spot something that is even slightly above expectation, show that you’ve noticed. You don’t have to go buying your employees new Rolex watches for hitting their targets… but a simple thanks can go a long way. And if you don’t believe in the power of a simple thanks, watch this 1-minute video and see if it changes your mind.

Horrible Habit #5: Knowing Everything

-What’s The Problem? You know everything, and you aren’t afraid of sharing it. Except that you don’t actually know everything at all – nobody does. You might have an opinion on everything… but that’s a far cry from actually knowing everything. And besides, what’s the point in hiring somebody to do a job if you’re just going to dictate how they should be doing it all the time? Nobody likes a know-it-all, and just because you’re the manager it doesn’t mean that it is only your opinion that matters, or that it is only your answer that is right.

-How Do I Fix It? Let your employees do the jobs they were hired to do, and listen to their opinions on problems within the business. By believing in people’s abilities and respecting their opinions, you’re fostering a working environment where people feel respected, useful, and motivated to develop their career with your brand.

Stay ahead with HR

Get free HR insights, expert tips and exclusive interviews, and start making more impact at work

Please enter a valid email address

See People HR in action

View our short video demo

Get started absolutely free

No credit card required

Talk with an expert to learn how People HR could help your organisation