Horrible bosses not just in Hollywood

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It may be the title of a Hollywood-blockbuster comedy, but having a horrible boss is the norm for many people in reality – and a real threat to employee retention, according to a recent survey.

Nearly three quarters of surveyed employees(73%) reported that having a manager who they respect and can learn from is one of the most important factors in their work environment.

The survey was conducted by recruitment specialist OfficeTeam, and revealed that despite the importance of good management, many managers display poor behaviour, despite its negative effect on employees. Indeed, one in 10 employees cited that the main drawcard for accepting a new job offer would be the chance to work for an inspirational manager.

According to OfficeTeam, business needs to be more proactive about ensuring quality and reasonable leadership, otherwise they “risk losing talented employees”. Stephen Langhammer from OfficeTeam said bad management is a real turn-off for employees, and can have serious implications on company turnover, as well as staff morale, productivity and ultimately, profitability. “Training can help foster better management styles in a business. Companies should also reward good managers – who can be a huge asset."

The recruitment company said bad management styles can include everything from indecisiveness, poor delegation and lack of organisation to undermining and bullying employees. Their survey also found that problems most commonly arise when a manager doesn’t have adequate experience or time to manage their team, and that this can often be addressed by training or better resource management.

Do you have managers in your organisation who meet the following descriptions? OfficeTeam recommended the following advice on responding to certain ‘boss types':



Boss type

Coping strategy

The micromanager has trouble delegating tasks. When assigning a project, this boss tells you exactly how, when and where to do it.

Trust is usually the issue here, so try to do everything in your power to build it. Don’t miss deadlines, pay attention to details and keep your manager informed of all the steps you’ve taken to ensure quality work.

The poor communicator provides little or no direction. Your assignments often have to be completed at the last minute or redone because goals and deadlines weren’t clearly explained.

Diplomatically point out that by providing more information upfront, you’ll both avoid undue stress and save time in the long run. Seek clarification when confused and arrange regular check-ins on projects.

The bully wants to do things his or her way, or no way at all. Bosses like this also tend to be gruff with others and easily frustrated.

Stand up for yourself. The next time your supervisor shoots down your proposal, for example, calmly explain your rationale. Often, this type of manager will relent when presented with a voice of reason.

The saboteur undermines the efforts of others and rarely recognises individuals for a job well done. This supervisor takes credit for employee ideas but places blame on others when projects go awry.

Make sure your contributions are more visible to others, especially senior management, so that your role isn’t overlooked. Get information in writing from this person so you have a chain of communications to refer to, if needed.

The mixed bag is always a surprise. This manager’s moods are typically unpredictable: He or she may confide in you one day and turn a cold shoulder the next.

Try not to take this boss’s disposition personally. A calm and composed demeanour is best when dealing with this supervisor. When this person is on edge, try to limit communication unless a matter is urgent.

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