5 signs of a bad manager and how to avoid them

The quality of work relationships – like any relationship – depends very much on their maintenance. This is something both managers and employees know very well since relationship problems often lead to reasons for discussions and even layoffs. Yet, due to its position in the company, it usually comes down to the manager to nurture relations and try to bring harmony into the workplace. Hence, a manager who does not play his role well can ultimately hurt the team and the company.

Although having a great manager is something we all hope for, not all professionals are gifted with this blessing. Over the course of your career, it is common and frequent to run into a bad manager who does a lousy job leading his/her team. But how can we spot signs of bad management?

Here are some of the signs that your workplace is being badly managed and how to avoid them to achieve better results.

1. Lack of training

When a manager does not train his or her team, employees may not know how to keep up with new demands and thus become dissatisfied with not being able to achieve good results. In turn, this results in low productivity and consequently staff turnover.

2. Lack of clarity in the relationship

When a manager does not make clear what is expected of the employee, he or she may do what they believe is the right thing – which may not be the best for the company. If the leader does not clearly explain the company’s methodology and culture, there is little chance harmony is established and goals are met.

3. Lack of performance analysis

A great master of quality management, William Edwards Deming, once said that “you cannot manage what you don’t measure.” Successful leaders often seek to improve their productivity by measuring their performance through numbers. It is, therefore, crucial to determining the indicators to be monitored and improved.

4. Lack of motivation to increase productivity

Even if a manager can set goals and track the metrics, he is not a great manager if he can’t motivate his team to do better. A lack of motivation in the work environment results in a team limited by doing only what is required of them, not more. Needless to say, this may become an issue when the company needs to innovate or pursue new markets.

5. Lack of leadership

This is probably the most controversial aspect of management as different managers have a distinct perspective on what leadership means. In any case, when the leader lacks character, attitude, and initiative or even acts with arrogance, this will have a negative impact on the team. Consequently, this kind of manager has little or no influence over the team, which creates an overall lack of commitment in the workplace.


Despite all these common management mistakes, there are ways to avoid them, beginning by acknowledging they are happening. First of all, a leader should constantly train his/her team and try to transmit information in the clearest way possible so employees know what is expected of them. Secondly, tracking progress and showing the team how to improve is also the role of a successful leader. Finally, having the committed attitude of a leader and taking responsibility for the task at hand will promote a sense of respect and increase your influence over the team.

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