Employees don’t always quit because of a "bad" company. Often, they leave because of a bad boss. In fact, 46% of respondents in a recent Ten Spot survey said they currently have a manager who makes them want to quit their job. Even among respondents in managerial roles, 81% said they wanted to quit because of their boss.
This January 2022 report mirrors long-held beliefs within the HR field, but with a twist, according to Workhuman's Executive Vice President of Customer Strategy, Chris French. Over 20 years in the industry, he's seen talent leave because of dissatisfactory management. That's not new, he told HR Dive, but "I think the number of bad managers is probably growing as the pressures of the last two years have come upon us."
So, what makes a "bad" team leader? The Ten Spot study briefly mentioned micromanaging as a pain point for some employees. From French's perspective, what makes someone an inefficient leader is their mindset about the objectives of their role.
"It would look like someone who thinks it's their job to get you to do something, rather than help you to accomplish and do your best work," he explained, reiterating that managers exist to serve employees — not vice versa. The inverse "just doesn't work in today's world," he said.
Conversely, some signs of efficient or nurturing managers include readiness to help workers "course-correct" and offering constructive feedback.
"It's someone who asks how you’re doing, who acknowledges that people have good days and bad days, and who errs on the side of positive reinforcement. It's someone who plans with you [on] how to grow your career, who understands what your aspirations are going forward and tries to remove the barriers that are there," French said.
Poignantly, noted the pressure placed on a manager to be their direct report's end-all and be-all could also be unfair. "It's unrealistic that one person can create the right environment for every human being that is there. It's incumbent upon all employees to create an environment of human connection and positivity and belonging and inclusion," he said. "It's the manager's job to lead from that perspective."