Bad bosses – they’re the inspiration for movie comedies, great literature (Charles Dickens and Shakespeare wrote more than a few) and hilarious dinner party stories. But there’s nothing funny about having a bad boss, much less being one. Bad managers drive good employees away, undermine their workplace’s success, and cost their organizations in dollars and lost institutional knowledge when those disgruntled team members move on. Good managers rally their employees to strive toward a common goal, grow loyalty for their organizations, and get – and retain – the best of the best even in a competitive labor market. We all know them when we see them – but what exactly are the qualities that separate great managers from failed ones?
I am a Predictive Index Talent Management provider and I help clients put the right people in the right seat on their bus. Predictive Index World Wide set out to answer the question definitively in This comprehensive new survey– and some of the insights it provides may surprise you. First, men and women rate about equally in terms of managerial effectiveness, with women edging out a slight preference. Second, the much-maligned Millenials turn out to be gifted managers, even when rated by Baby Boomer workers. And did you know that your employees love feedback? In fact, they’d rather have too much of it than too little, and managers who provide it often and honestly rank much higher than those who don’t.
What makes a bad manager so bad? Poor people skills, mostly; according to respondents, bad managers play favorites (57 percent), talk down their colleagues (54 percent), and have to be right all of the time (52 percent). But the biggest complaint? They fail to set clear expectations for their team (58 percent). It makes perfect sense when you think about it, because all of these behaviors leave your employees unsure about where they stand or what they need to achieve to succeed. It’s tough to score when you can’t see the goal posts.
And what makes a good manager so effective? For one thing, it’s the enthusiasm good managers create in those working under them. 94 percent of employees with good or great bosses say they have passion and energy for their jobs – so a good manager inspires, making good employees perform even better. Good managers model the behavior they want to encourage by displaying a great work ethic (82 percent). They’re also seen as honest (80 percent), and confident (79 percent). A sense of humor is a big plus (79 percent) as is a positive attitude, which got a similar rating.
If you’re in the business of managing people, and especially if you’re managing managers, contact me to see how I can help you and your organization have only great bosses. And make sure you pass this around at your workplace. It’s a great way to kick off a conversation about improving skills, and might encourage some fruitful self-reflection. And don’t forget to start with a good, long look in the mirror! Great management – like great corporate culture – starts at the top.
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