Bad Management Styles to Avoid If You Want To Retain Your Employees

May 16, 2019

Even great managers make mistakes sometimes, and that’s okay. But mistakes aside, adopting a overarching management style that generally empowers, rewards, and motivates employees is critical to the success of any team. A management mistake is forgivable, but a poor management style will drive your employees to disengagement and even eventually turnover.

Avoid these management styles to keep your employees happy, engaged, and, ultimately, still employed with your company:

1. Know-it-All Management

Know-it-alls make terrible leaders and that’s a plain and simple fact. If a person needs to be right every time, all time, even when they’re wrong, they’re not equipped to be a good manager. Not only do know-it-alls feel that their knowledge is superior to everyone else’s knowledge, they also at times even reject perfectly valid arguments and perspectives in favor of their own.

What makes this even worse is that some know-it-alls are actually extremely insecure and their need to always be right is a reflection of their own insecurity. They then take these issues out on their employees in the form of distrust and unwillingness to listen to new ideas, which prevents employees from solving problems on their own and being motivated to do their best work.

2. Assume-the-Worst Management

While the best managers come to work with the assumption that their employees have the will and desire to succeed as long as they’re given support, the “assume-the-worst” managers assume the worst of their employees – that they’re selfish, lazy, and only willing to do things their own way – and manage them according to that assumption.

This assume-the-worst management style is what it looks like when you have a leader who is pessimistic and overly-focused on the negatives in every situation. The result: it prevents innovation, engagement, and success among team members, who don’t feel valued, trusted, or rewarded for their initiative and drive. 

3. Micromanagement

Micromanagers are ever-present, overseeing, guiding, and directing projects and people all day. (If you aren’t sure if this describes you, here’s a quick read that can help). More specifically, a micromanaging manager wants to be involved every decision an employee makes. And in general, he /she spends much of his/her day looking over the shoulders of others either because of a lack of trust, an exorbitant ego – or both!

Employees typically can’t function freely, let alone innovate, under such restrictive management pressure. And, over time, employees who work under a micromanaging boss will begin to feel stifled, incapable of creativity or thoughtful decision-making, and simply exhausted…which means it’s just matter of time before they want to quit.

4. Autocratic Management

The best way to summarize autocratic management is, “It’s my way or the highway!”

Autocratic managers implement decisions and ideas from the top down rather than taking employee feedback from other levels of the organization. It’s almost impossible for employees to grow, develop and feel confident in their role under this type of management because they aren’t a meaningful part of decisions that impact them and, therefore, feel disconnected. In many cases, they also aren’t permitted to ask questions without repercussions and as a result, employees often leave.

5. Overly-friendly Management

You might think that being a very friendly manager makes it more likely for employees to stay longer, but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, if managers are too friendly with employees, the lines of authority blur and confusion about expectations arise.

Because just think about it: what happens when either manager or employee has negative feedback for the other? Will both sides be able to keep it professional and not let personal feelings interfere with thoughts and decisions at work?

In the worst case scenarios, overly-friendly managers don’t give their employees the structured support and clear, professional expectations that they need to thrive as individual contributors, which makes it harder to keep those team members happy and engaged at work.

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Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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