Some management styles actually go out of style.
Are you on trend — or are you out of style, still wearing a pair of pink sidewinders?
It’s important to have the right management style. Reason: About half of employees quit jobs because they can’t stand their boss, according to a Robert Half survey.
“We’ve all heard horror stories about difficult managers — or experienced one firsthand,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Work styles and how well a person gets along with their supervisor can determine whether someone decides to join or remain at a company.”
Some inherent behaviors and bad habits can drive employees crazy and make you a bad boss.
Management styles to avoid
If you want to lead well, you have to take a calculated approach to management.
“Leadership can make or break an organization, with good leaders motivating teams to be creative and productive,” says Simon Dolan, a well-being expert, professor and author of De-Stress At Work - Understanding and Combatting Chronic Stress. “But on the other side of the coin, a bad leader can demotivate teams, cause low morale and the effect on teams can be devastating.”
Obviously, you want to avoid the other side of the coin. To that, here are the six worst management styles — and tips to get away from each.
Employees need bosses who are confident. But they don’t want a boss who is arrogant.
“Although leaders are expected to be confident, it is important not to confuse this with over-confidence,” says Dolan. “A great leader needs to be respectful, supportive and nurturing of growth — not just someone who is self-assured.”
Be better: Show confidence by making good decisions and helping your team shine. Beyond that, lean toward being a humble boss: Give employees credit for team accomplishments. Admit mistakes. Seek and accept feedback.
The favorite chooser
More than 80% of employees in a Signs.com survey said the most unacceptable behavior by a boss is playing favorites. They don’t like being part of teams where a brown-noser gets extra credit, recognition and rewards.
It’s never OK to give an employee unfair and undeserved attention over other employees who perform equally.
Be better: As a manager, you want to — and must — treat employees fairly and without bias. To be certain you don’t favor one employee over others, work with a trusted colleague or HR before making decisions regarding promotion, demotion, assignments and anything that requires you to choose an employee over others.
The control freak
Some bosses just can’t let go of anything — from small duties to overriding authority. So if they aren’t actually doing or dictating the work, they’re asking employees a thousand questions about it: Did you turn the knob left? Is the report done? How are you going to finish that? Do you know the deadline?
Employees don’t want to be micromanaged. Most won’t thrive in that environment — and will resent the boss.
Be better: Let it go. You might have to increase employee training time so you’re confident in their abilities. Or just accept that employees learn best from some mistakes. When those happen, talk with — not at — employees on what they can learn from a misstep.
The stick carrier
Despite a century of change in how we manage people, some managers still carry the stick rather than dangle the carrot. They think the way to get results from employees is to tell them, “Do this or else!”
It’s not. Threatening people with their jobs, time or pretty much anything is the exact opposite way to achieve results. Not to mention, aggressive management borders on harassment and creating a hostile work environment.
Be better: Continue to set an example and be nice. And if you know a colleague who carries the stick, you might want to talk with HR about the situation.
No one wants to work for the TMI Guy — the boss who shares way Too Much Information. Sure, their intention might be to build rapport and camaraderie. But most employees don’t want to hear about every weekend detail, pet crisis and personal career hurdle.
In fact, more than 60% of employees in a Preply survey don’t enjoy working with chatty colleagues. Conversations topics they hate most: Office gossip, politics and domestic woes.
Be better: It’s important to connect with employees. But keep it mainly professional with a side of personal. Ask employees about what’s important to them, and use their level of sharing as a guide for how much you share.
The quiet one
Some bosses take a hands-off approach to their detriment. They figure if nothing’s wrong, they might as well let it be.
So they don’t give good employees feedback — the kind that keeps them engaged and motivated. And when it comes to poor performers, they give the silent treatment, figuring if they ignore it the employee will catch on.
Be better: Communicate with employees about their performance, regardless of whether it’s good or bad. Employees need to know where they stand and how they either improve or advance.