The Surprising Impact of Bad Manager Behavior


Many people involved in business believe that upper-level management has the highest level of impact. These individuals are supposed to set the tone and philosophy of the company. However, studies have shown that it’s the manager that has the biggest impact on employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention. Bad manager behavior has a large impact on the success of a business.

Negative Effects of Bad Manager Behavior

The people you engage with the most will have the biggest impact, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, how much impact managers have may be surprising. One study found that 58% of employees said poor management had the greatest negative impact on productivity, while 38% listed no longer being motivated at work. Lack of motivation is usually a result of poor management.

Another study revealed that 75% of employees felt that bad managers were the worst and most stressful part of their job. 50% of those who were unhappy with their boss planned to leave their job within the next year.

It seems the old adage is true. ”Employees don’t leave jobs. They leave managers”.

Bad management also has a significant impact on productivity. This can be harder to quantify than employee retention, but it is just as vital to a healthy business. Happy employees are 12-20% more productive. This is a huge increase, given that increases of 3% are significant for a business’s bottom line. Bad management behavior is a sure way to demotivate even the most dedicated employees.

Bad Management Characteristics

There are many signs of bad manager behavior. These are 3 of the most common mistakes made by bad managers.

They Treat Everyone the Same

This goes beyond fairness and is actually simply laziness. The manager has the same expectations for all their employees, regardless of their skills, time on the job, and personality. They also handle everyone in the same manner, instead of individualizing their approach to match the employee’s personality.

They Play Favorites

Nothing will demoralize an employee quite like knowing that they will never get the recognition they deserve not because of their performance, but because they aren’t on the favorites list. Bad managers have people they like on a personal level. These people get praised, receive raises, and get promoted, while more worthy employees are left in the background.

They Don’t Listen

Oftentimes, bad manager behavior occurs due to closed-mindedness. They don’t want to hear anyone else’s ideas or point of view. It is their way or the highway. This stifles innovation and motivation in their employees. Why bother thinking through a new way of doing things when you know you will never be heard?

Bad managers can be very costly for your business. However, recognizing problems and finding solutions can make your business more stable and profitable.