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  • Jessie I.

3 Red Flags of Bad Management

Updated: Jun 5

How can you tell which of your managers have the real potential to lead and which are just not up to the task? What warning signs of poor leadership are there on your team that you should be aware of?


a manager explaining something to 3 employees

People leaving or moving departments

The greatest indicator of a manager's poor performance is a high rate of employee turnover. Talk to the manager right away to find out what's going on if a lot of people are leaving or if the manager has fired a lot of people. Reviewing transfer requests to and from various teams on a regular basis is a good way to find problems before they escalate. People may like your company, but not this manager, if they frequently request to leave a particular team. On the other hand, if a manager consistently receives requests to join their team, this is a strong indication that they are a reliable manager with whom people enjoy working. Use transfer requests as a heads-up that a manager might be having trouble performing their duties. Inform them that you will have to replace them if they don't make the necessary behavioral changes.


Low levels of productivity and engagement

Low levels of team member engagement are linked to bad leadership at your company as well. It all comes down to this: If an employee is engaged and enjoys their work, they are less likely to consider leaving or attending another interview. Effectively identifying candidates for future leadership roles and developing them into leaders is one of the most important leadership skills for long-term success.


Potential is not maximized

Managers who are able to spot potential and develop it internally are a real asset to your business because they add value to more than just themselves. On the other hand, managers who are unable to identify and cultivate leadership potential frequently fall prey to the Peter Principle, a management theory that was created by Laurence J. Peter, who stated: "A level of respective incompetence" is the tendency of people in a hierarchy: Because skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another, employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent.

To put it another way, poor managers will only promote individuals based on their previous roles' success—or for political reasons—without really considering or recognizing what characteristics make great leaders.

Because their promotion was not based on how well-suited they were to become leaders or the, these individuals will eventually reach their limit and remain stagnant. Even worse, a bad manager's lack of support can make it hard for a new leader to grow and succeed, which means that bad managers may hurt more than just individual contributors.

These are not the only factors and the issues may be more complex than that there might be lack of resources, the overall working conditions might be worse than other places. Nevertheless, the above mentioned factors can be avoided with upper management support and adequate training. At your company, poor leadership can have serious financial repercussions. It has the potential to lower morale, cause employee turnover that results in high replacement costs, and demotivate even team members who remain. In the end, you can't afford to have bad managers. Furthermore, you simply cannot afford to delay finding out if you possess them.


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