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Bad Managers: 6 Qualities that Make People Quit

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The Great Place to Work awards recently released their top workplaces for 2020. This system rates companies based on employee feedback and a submission which is then rated independently. This year we were delighted to rank 13th in Ireland’s Best Large Workplaces and were rated highly in regards to trust and engagement within Cpl.

One impactful aspect that is measured is management and the impact of a good, or bad, manager. Companies with good managers and leaders have better cultures, happier employees and all-round better results. For the employees, those with a good manager are more content at work and more productive.

Unfortunately, not all managers have the qualities to lead a team. As many companies strive to improve diversity and company culture, there are still bosses out there that drive their employees to quit.

If you’ve ever left a role because of bad management or an ineffective boss some of these qualities might seem all too familiar:

6 Qualities of a Bad Manager that Make People Quit

1. Low Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Signs someone has a low EI include poor control of emotions, poor relationships with colleagues, lack of empathy and highly defensive behaviours.

When it comes to managers with low EI some common behaviours could include contrariness, a bad team player and unsympathetic to other team members emotional issues (for example if someone has a family member who is unwell.)

In general people with Low EI aren’t very self-aware or comfortable in themselves and don’t make good managers. The good news is EI can be acquired if the person is willing to work on themselves.

2. Inconsistent

Does your manager’s behaviour vary depending on the day of the week or hour of the day? Inconsistencies create upheaval and can make life uncomfortable at work. A good manager should be clear in their expectations, communication methods and appraisals. Inconsistencies lead to low trust and damage a manager’s credibility which leads on to our next point…

3. Untrustworthy

Do you trust that your manager has your best interests at heart? And just as importantly, do they trust you?

If you’ve hesitated it’s a bad sign. High levels of trust are important and should work both ways. If you don’t trust them and they don’t trust you it’s a recipe for disaster.

Without trust, misunderstandings and micromanagement can seep in. If you don’t trust your manager, you’re also more likely to be unproductive or feel you have a true purpose in your role.

4. Bad team player

A good team is supportive, share the same vision and look out for each other. If you feel like the people around you don’t have your back you’re likely to lack in confidence and trust will be compromised.

On the other hand, if you have a good relationship with your manager and you’re confident they respect you you’ll want to work harder and will be open with new ideas. Support, care and collaboration are all key.

5. Overly demanding

If an average workday for you consists mainly of doing work for your manager that they should be doing themselves, you’re probably unhappy at work. Of course, it’s natural for managers to ask their employees to do things for them but there is a line.

A skilled manager will respect their employees, won’t ask you to work late every day and won’t take credit for work you’ve done. Look for a boss who has sincere empathy and appreciates the work you do rather than a demanding boss with no respect.

6. Doesn’t listen to feedback or ideas

A leader will only go so far without the help of others, so if you have a boss who doesn’t listen or show any interest in new ways of thinking take pleasure in the fact that their career progression will be limited.

To quote our own CEO, “You achieve very little alone, so one of the most important jobs a leader has to do is to select their team and then commit to each individuals success.”

A good manager will have a clear vision for their team that is communicated clearly. They will respect their employees and celebrate life’s little wins. No manager is perfect, but if you share the same goal and practise effective communication you should be on the same path to success.

If you’re working somewhere where you feel undervalued it’s time to address the issue or make a move. Every company should support staff and care about workers development and wellbeing.

Not the case where you work? We’d love to help. Browse new job opportunities

This post was originally published in 2018 and has since been updated.