Bad Bosses and Their Costly Ways

In a recent article, Dori Meinert listed five types of bad bosses. They are:

  1. The Divisive Boss, who divides and conquers by playing favorites
  2. The Workaholic, who expects employees to work long hours as he/she does
  3. The Bully, who rules by intimidation
  4. The Micromanager, who hovers over employees to ensure every detail of a task is carried out the way he or she would do it
  5. The By-The-Numbers Boss, who is numbers-focused and totally lacking in people skills

The statistics of what bad bosses can cost an organization are staggering. According to Gallup, disengaged employees cost American businesses up to $450 billion a year, which comes as no surprise when only 30 percent of U.S. employees report feeling engaged at work. Managers often do not receive enough training, which accounts, at least in part, for their difficulties in training and motivating their direct reports. What to do, you ask?

Companies wanting to improve their employees’ engagement and productivity metrics should make effective management training priority one. At the top of that list is improving manager communication skills. Active listening is one of the most important skills a supervisor can learn. See Bev Sinclair’s article on active listening in our August Bulletin for tips. In addition, company HR professionals can create dialogue with errant managers, asking questions instead of delivering instructions, which helps them problem-solve their own difficulties in supervising others. Giving awards to managers who work effectively with their direct reports is another way of inspiring others to strive toward management excellence.

Turning a bad manager’s performance around, or terminating his or her employment when necessary, can be a daunting task, but it is essential to the financial success of every organization.