The workplace's open secret: flawed managers
- More than three-quarters of employees said their managers have "glaring flaws," but few managers realize their shortcomings, a new survey from VitalSmarts revealed.
- Respondents said their managers are overwhelmed and inadequate (27%), poor listeners (24%), biased and unfair (24%), distant and disconnected (23%) and disorganized and forgetful (21%).
- While employees are well aware of their supervisors' flaws, they rarely bring their complaints to the manager, the survey said. For almost half, the fear of offending their manager holds them back; 41% said they wouldn't know how to bring up the subject and an equal amount said they fear retaliation. Another 39% said they worried such a conversation would hurt their career and 38% said their company culture doesn't support people who speak up.
A bad boss can slow productivity, thwart engagement and encourage turnover. Recent research makes it easy to see why; 75% of workers have or recently had a toxic boss, a Monster survey found. And more than half of respondents in a Yoh poll said a manager's disrespect for lower-level workers would make them think about quitting, even if they liked their job.
The bad boss problem is so pervasive that workers with a poor manager are four times more likely to start job hunting than their peers who have a good one, according to TINYpulse's Employee Retention Report. Some even say they'd accept less money if it meant working for a better boss.
Managers appear to be aware of their shortcomings, however; many say they're stressed and overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility they hold, and most are asking for more training. They want and need more leadership training and coaching to succeed in their role. The good news is that employers appear ready to oblige; both budgets and executive support for learning and development are up this year.
Follow Riia O'Donnell on Twitter