The Problematic Manager

Part 1 of 5 in the People Leave series

You can tell if a manager is effective by observing their team’s performance and cohesion. An effective manager knows their team members’ strengths and challenges relative to their jobs.  They can anticipate when to guide and how much guidance to provide. They understand that a team’s cohesion will depend on allowing people to do what they do best.  They know who is happy, who isn’t (and why). They communicate clearly about a path forward, providing their team members a vision for the future. 

In Gallup’s  2015 State of the American Manager report*, one out of every two professionals surveyed said they had quit a job at some point in their career to “get away” from their boss. But problematic managers aren’t always the villains. Some common situations I see are:

  • A top performer is rewarded with a promotion and finds that their natural talents aren’t a match for key requirements of the new job
  • The new manager is given more responsibility without the resources and support they need to do their job well
  • The new manager wants to make a good impression and won’t admit to being challenged

What you can do:

  • Take the time to evaluate the fit of the manager – if they’re not a good fit, how can you provide support to grow the skills needed for top performance?
  • Is the manager feeling overwhelmed?  What additional support and resources can you offer to help them succeed?
  • Have weekly or bi-weekly one on one meetings with the manager and focus on opening the lines of communication with them to identify areas where you can offer support and coaching.  Are you speaking their language?

*Gallup’s 2015 State of the American Manager Report can be viewed here.