The HR Professor

The HR Professor

Teaching You How to Navigate the Workplace

How to Be the Worst Manager Ever

I’ve worked with both excellent and horrible managers throughout my career. Being the site HR Representative for many years has given me the advantage of understanding what employees are looking for in a manager, and it really isn’t that difficult to be a well-respected, desired manager. Here are the top things to do to be considered the worst manager ever with incredibly high turnover in your department:

  1. Do not make time for your employees. Do not schedule one on one or team meetings. Employees like to be ignored and feel like they are invisible.
  2. Belittle and/or embarrass your employees, especially in a group setting. It’s great to tell them how they really screwed up that project or how they really missed the ball on that task in front of everyone.
  3. Don’t be flexible with time off requests or realize that people have family situations that come up unexpectedly. Expect your employees to answer all your e-mails immediately in the evening or on weekends. After all, if they are dedicated employees, the company and your needs should be number one, right?
  4. Save any and all feedback (especially negative) for the end of year review. People like surprises after all. Remember that time eight months ago when you didn’t meet that deadline? Well, you are not meeting expectations for the year because of that.
  5. Don’t listen to any new ideas from your employees. We have always done it this way and it works. Why change or make anything better?
  6. Don’t ever thank an employee for a job well done or provide any other rewards or recognition. Isn’t a pay check reward enough?
    Never put a high potential employee on a visible project. If they are in the spotlight, they might take your job one day. You need to keep those types of employees on the down low.
  7. Don’t support your employees or “have their back.” Life is hard and they should learn to figure things out on their own and pay for their mistakes.
  8. Promote the people you like rather than those who have all the major accomplishments. Your golf and drinking buddies are way more deserving of rewards and way more fun.
  9. Bad-mouth your employees to anyone who will listen because it never gets back to that person.

Obviously, all these actions are the exact opposite of how a good manager leads their team. Being well-liked, supported, and respected by your team creates a much happier and productive workplace. People will stay at the company and do their best. For you.

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About Brenda Maday
Portland, OR