Written by James Caldwell-Acha-Ngwodo, MHRM, CPC, PHR
What constitutes a bad manager? Whose responsibility is it to learn to manage effectively? What impact do underdeveloped managers have on the success of organizations?
Over the life of my career I have had the opportunity to work with managers who were both effective and ineffective. And as a mature professional, I’m confident we have worked for someone who we would call a “bad manager“ in our lifetime. What makes this person a bad manager?
What are some of the differences that have been noted between the two?
Effective managers are continual learners. They continually seek out opportunities to increase their knowledge and skills through professional development. Not only do they continually work on their own personal development but they also work to develop their employees through ongoing performance coaching, training, continuing education opportunies and other professional development initiatives.
Ineffective managers tend to take a different approach. Many times ineffective managers take an authoratative top-down approach, attempting to motivate employees using, status, fear or creating confusion for their teams, therefore making it difficult for employees to perform effectively and maximize their individual potential.
In general, bad managers may not even know that they have been coined as such and may often believe that they are doing what is “right” for their organization. It is easy to single out these “bad managers” as individuals, but the responsibility for creating effective managers ultimately lies with the organization who selects the management staff.
Many times managers are selected to manage teams because in the past have been effective individual contributors, but being an effective individual contributor does not directly translate into becoming an effective manager.
Successful organizations value and work to develop their human capital at all levels of the organization. They understand that an organization’s greatest resources are their employees. Organizations that make investments through time and resources in management training, and developmental training programs create an environment that inspires its employees. These organizations make employees feel valued, while increasing their positions as employers of choice through employer branding and employee loyalty.
Ineffective or bad managers can negatively impact an organization’s bottomline, they decrease employee morale, increase employee turnover, increase company recruiting and training efforts and erode employee loyalty. As the baby-boomer demographic in today’s workforce transitions into retirement it becomes that much more important that organizations invest resources in proper training and development of it’s own managers.