You would think being appointed to a management role that managers were qualified in leadership skills. Often this is not the case. They are greeted with “you are a manager now – go manage.” Sadly, they often lack the requisite skills to do the job well. As a result, these common management traits drive their direct reports crazy.
1. Being bossy
Your manager says…. Hey – I’m the boss therefore you do as I say!
This is like waving a red rag to a bull to employees. Bosses don’t command respect – they command compliance. They are not managers let alone leaders, they are commanders. They look to get things done by controlling their direct reports and telling them what to do. This drives employees crazy – so crazy, employees will either sabotage the business, or tell anyone who will listen about how bad their manager is. Any employee with high self-esteem will have the courage to leave and seek a role that gives them satisfaction and work for a manager who knows what they are doing. Therefore, the employees that do stay are either poor performers or don’t care.
The problem with being bossy is that no-one respects you as a manager. If your people talk behind your back to anyone who listens, one of these people could be interviewing you for a future role you want. However, you won’t get the opportunity because of a tarnished reputation because you don’t know how to lead. Being a boss holds you back from promotion.
2. Trying to be popular and playing favorites
You might win the war on trying to be popular or acting as a friend, but what you lose is respect. Employees who don’t respect you as a manager drives them crazy because they have no confidence in your ability to lead and manage. Secretly they are laughing at you behind your back.
Employees don’t go to work to be your friend, they go to work to make a difference. They are motivated by achievement and meaningful work. If you can’t lead and inspire them, then their work has no meaning. As a result, they simply do as little as possible and get away with not performing because they know you have their back ‘as a friend.” This frustrates other employees because they see the inequality.
3. Being indecisive
Nothing drives employees crazy more than a manager or leader being indecisive. They come to you for a decision, not to delay the decision-making process. Even if the answer is no, that’s better than nothing.
For example, you have put through a proposal to a manager that needs signing off on a project that begins in 5 months’ time, but the approval doesn’t come through until two weeks before the project is due to begin. Meanwhile, vendors have taken on other work and can longer do the work. This impacts the project which ends up costing more time and money because of the lack of decision.
Employees who care, need resources to do their jobs well. It might be funding, a new piece of equipment, extra help or a decision about keeping a customer happy. Without a decision, they are left in limbo which is frustrating especially if they are on the receiving end of customer complaints.
Consider this, a customer has a complaint that could easily be fixed but employees don’t have the authority to make a decision on the spot to fix the problem. Not only does this drive employees crazy, it drives customers crazy as well.
What about when the boss hires his “friend or a family member” to do a job someone already on the team is better qualified for? Not only does this drive other employees crazy, it causes massive resentment. Instantly other employees lose respect not only for the manager, they won’t respect the bosses friend or family member hired to do the job which is a double-edged sword.
Employees want to look up and respect the people they report to or work with. Without trust and respect, there is no motivation for employees to do a good job.
Additionally, nepotism sends a message to employees they have no future in the company. They know they won’t get the promotion they deserve so begin to look for another job. Once an employee has begun to look for another job, they have mentally retired from the job they are currently in and will never do their best. They are simply there to collect a pay check and mark time until something better comes along. Imagine if they spend the next ten years in this mode. What would that do to your ‘lack’ of results?
If you have ever worked for someone who micromanages you, you know this will drives people crazy.
When a manager micromanages their people, this smacks of – “I’m better than you, I know more than you, if you want someone done right do it yourself!” This is not good management, it’s not even leadership – quite the opposite. Micromanaging our people gives them the message that you can’t lead and are too insecure as a boss to let go and empower others. It destroys any trust you might have in your people. If you can’t trust your people to do their job, why employ them in the first place?
Micromanaging destroys motivation and innovation. Your people are resigned that nothing they do makes a difference so why bother! They shut down, don’t care, become ‘yes sir not sir’ people and stifles progress. Eventually this will bite you where it hurts because you will not be able to deliver meaningful results making it difficult for you to progress your career.
6. Being disorganized and forgetful
Time management and forward thinking is a must for effective managers. When a disorganized boss who leaves important tasks goes to an employee at 4.40 pm telling them about an urgent task that needs to be done before they leave, not only drives them crazy, it makes them want to kill you! Really! How hard is it to organize yourself and not leave things to the last minute?
A manager approves your vacation time verbally weeks in advance then they forget. When you are about to go vacation then they ask why you didn’t ask for approval sooner which makes you to be the bad guy. Sooooo annoying.
Your manager forgets to approve an important purchase and when you run out your manager reprimands you for not making the request sooner. Dah! They held up the purchase not you.
7. Fluctuating standards
The boss tells you talk too much in meetings or on phone conferences and yet they fail to shut their ‘mates’ up when they ramble on and on. This drives employees’ crazy which is similar to nepotism. Alternatively, you walk in their office asking for a few minutes of their time to discuss something important and they give you five minutes while looking at their watch the whole time. One of their ‘favorite mates’ walks in with no appointment and they get a full half hour of their time without being chased out of the room.
Another scenario is when someone is given praise for work they didn’t do – you did the work and they got the praise. This is a real kick in the teeth – and enough to make anyone crazy.
If you are guilty of any of these things that drive employees crazy, it’s time to reconsider your management style. People leave managers, not organizations.
In a Nutshell
Managers can’t succeed if they don’t have the requisite management skills. The following management traits drive employees crazy.
- Bossing employees around and telling them what to do. Not understanding employees want a manager not a dictator as a boss.
- Instead of managing people, they try to be friends. As a result employees get away with poor performance. Playing favorites causes resentment and leads to good people leaving.
- Being indecisive not only drives employees crazy, it can seriously put a business at risk by not keeping up with current trends and customer demands.
- Nepotism causes serious resentment among employees especially when someone incompetent is appointment to a role.
- Micromanaging is a definite demotivator. Any employee with talent or ambition will eventually leave and all your are left with are substandard performers
- Being disorganized and forgetful leaves a business in limbo. It create chaos and eats into profits.
- Fluctuating standards causes employees to become incredibly frustrated and annoyed never knowing what is the right thing to do and eventfully causes conflict.