When you hire new managers, you are giving these individuals the opportunity to lead, supervise, mentor, and motivate others and their ability to do so makes a huge impact on your company’s overall success. Yet, too often, first-time managers are thrown into their new role with little to no management training. This can lead to poor management, consequently causing high turnover rates, workplace stress, and declines in employee productivity.
No one intentionally sets out to be a poor manager. In fact, many managers may not even realize they are doing anything wrong. However, there are a number of signs and traits to look for in your new managers that may signify they need training.
Uses abrasive communication
Abrasive managers rub their subordinates the wrong way by displaying behaviors ranging from mild offense to open attack. This management style creates interpersonal friction that often leads to resentment and disrupts workflow. If your new manager can’t communicate a problem or concern without berating, belittling, or yelling at employees, it may be time to consider management training to help your manager communicate constructively.
Creates office politics
Office politics kill morale and can lead to a toxic work environment. Your managers should be doing things to prevent it, not perpetuate it. Finding that a manager is pitting employees against one another or gossiping to employees about their peers should be a red flag that your manager needs management training.
Manages with fear or intimidation
Too often, managers think employees must be intimidated or shamed into following instructions and avoiding mistakes. However, this is a dangerous management tactic that causes unnecessary stress among employees, leading to a decline in productivity. According to the American Psychological Association, 51% of employees report being less productive at work as a result of stress in the workplace. Perhaps the manager is intimidated or unsure about how to get results without relying on threats, but no matter the reason, this tactic does not help their team or the organization as a whole.
Some managers have difficulty confronting non-performers while others simply ignore them in hopes that underperforming employees will somehow manage to soldier through. Meanwhile, everyone else on the team has to pull a little more weight to pick up the slack of the non-performers. This is a dangerous approach that can lead to resentment and low team morale.
Has trouble delegating work
No one can take on everything, but sometimes managers believe delegating makes them less important. So, they cling to their authority and micromanage their employees. This tactic can have negative effects on the entire organization and often leads to lower quality of work.
Steals credit for the good and passes blame for the bad
It’s hard to hold a team together when mistakes occur and the temptation to point fingers may be hard to resist. However, good leaders take more than their share of the blame and less than their share of the credit. Unfortunately, many managers have a terrible habit of taking credit for the good and passing the blame for the bad on to their team members.
Has trouble providing constructive criticism
Employees have the right to expect that their manager will be able to offer mentorship and direction. So, when a manager has no problem pointing out the mistakes but provides little to no insight on how to improve, employees get discouraged and frustrated.
Arrogance is a dangerous characteristic to begin with but it can be toxic when it comes to managing a team. The best managers are open to learning from others and rarely take a “my way or the highway” stance on matters in the workplace.
Fails to update the team
One of the worst mistakes a manager can make is failing to communicate important or relevant information to the team. While there are certainly instances where it’s better to operate on a “need to know” basis, sharing appropriate updates with the team is important to building trust and team morale. Hiding this information may lead to confusion and unnecessary stress among employees.
Expects subordinates to mind read
If a manager expects subordinates to know what’s coming next, but doesn’t do a good job of providing context or providing guidance, then their subordinates are being set up for failure. This issue may be easily fixed with leadership and communication training to help your manager understand the best way to convey expectations to the rest of team.
Fails to plan for future concerns
Jumping from emergency to emergency is stressful for both the manager and the entire team. Does your new manager constantly seem to operate one step away from disaster and can’t seem to get a handle on what needs to be done? If so, now is the time to consider training to improve goal setting and time-management abilities to ensure the whole team doesn’t suffer from the manager’s poor planning.
Pushes off decisions to others
Managers who collect all the information but still can’t seem to make a decision can have negative, far-reaching ramifications on your organization. Lack of decision-making abilities makes your manager look like a poor leader, often causing team members to lose respect for the manager.
With everything on your plate, it can be difficult to pick up on some of these behaviors. To ensure you’re not missing anything, try sending out an employee satisfaction survey to the employees who report directly to the new manager. It’s likely that these employees will have valuable insight on the manager’s performance. Still not sure if your new managers need training? See what Sandler’s management training programs can do for your managers.
Have you ever hired a first-time manager with any of these characteristics? Did he/she go through management training to improve their leadership style? Let us know with a comment below.