13 Signs of a Bad Manager and Tips for Working With Them

Here are some characteristics of a bad manager that will have employees running for the door—and what you can do instead.
  • You micromanage them. …
  • You avoid talking about their career goals. …
  • You don’t give them feedback. …
  • You steal their spotlight. …
  • You ignore workplace conflict. …
  • You leave them out of the conversation.

Signs of a Poor Manager (10 BAD MANAGER TRAITS)

Why it’s important to have a good relationship with your manager

Good managers are essential to every successful work environment. They support your performance and help you achieve your goals. You and your manager can both benefit from overcoming obstacles to find the best methods of collaboration.

Signs of a bad manager (and tips for improving your situation)

Here are 13 workplace management red flags, along with suggestions for how to fix each one:

1. You feel like your manager doesnt support your career development

You might believe that your manager forbids you from pursuing new opportunities that might result in larger roles and promotions and confines you to your current day-to-day responsibilities. But a good manager knows that a worker who gains new skills benefits the entire business. They promote growth opportunities because an atmosphere of inspiration is preferable to stagnation.

Tip: An employees success reflects on their manager. If you want to go after a chance, get their approval by highlighting how giving you a chance would benefit them.

2. You encounter challenges getting and giving feedback

It’s possible that you get no feedback, only negative feedback, or negative feedback in front of other people. You might also think that there is no way for you to provide feedback. A good manager sets aside specific times and procedures for staff feedback in order to set and review goals and discuss progress. A good management team also provides ways for staff to offer feedback on policies, events, and the workplace.

Tip: Try asking your manager for feedback. Share your desire to set goals and your need to know what they expect from you. They might not have appreciated the value of feedback or realized how it could benefit both parties.

3. Youre experiencing micromanagement

You may have a manager who micromanages if you feel that they don’t trust you or if they spend all day looking over your work. This might also entail seeking permission before proceeding and communicating with others when you need to complete more work.

A good manager explains your job description to you and makes it clear what is expected of you. They are available to respond to inquiries and offer any necessary tools or assistance. They acknowledge your accomplishments and assist you in fixing your mistakes.

One piece of advice for handling micromanagement is to take thorough notes on all calls and projects. This could give your manager a sense of control over the circumstance. You can demonstrate that having more independence will enable you to accomplish more by, for example, anticipating tasks and finishing them before being instructed to.

4. You feel like your manager dismisses your ideas

Even though you work hard to come up with fresh, original ideas for your team, you might frequently encounter a manager who rejects your suggestions. A good manager, however, actively listens and carefully evaluates every contribution made to the business.

Consider the most effective time of day to contact your manager. Perhaps they prefer to take meetings in the afternoon. Alternatively, seek feedback from your manager and incorporate it into your subsequent proposal to demonstrate your desire to work with them on implementing ideas. Finally, learn how your manager best communicates. If they have previously rejected you verbally, they may approve you via email once your manager has had a chance to read and consider it.

5. You experience a lack of vision in your team, starting with your manager

There may be a lack of communication from your manager when it comes to discussing yearly goals or plans for achieving them if you believe that your team needs to be more focused on how they are helping the company to achieve future goals. Based on company goals, effective leadership creates a clear path for success and enables you to understand your place within that vision.

Advice: Request that your manager include your team in developing a set of goals for the month, quarter, and year if the company vision is not clear.

6. It seems your manager doesnt value inclusion and diversity

You might be concerned that your manager is not open to a larger, more diverse base of recruitment and that your team is missing out on a stronger, more diverse, and more inclusive team if your manager’s hiring process only looks within their network, internal transfers, and employee referrals. To increase their base of experience and knowledge, good managers look for candidates from a large pool of candidates. They know that diversity and inclusion strengthen a workforce.

Next time you know your team will post a job opening, talk to your manager and suggest hiring from outside sources to bring fresh perspectives and a variety of skills to the team. Perhaps your manager didn’t understand the value and advantages of broad recruiting

7. You encounter challenges because of a lack of communication from your manager

You believe that your manager doesn’t communicate key information about your workplace, such as project updates, hiring and firing decisions, or even their planned absences. You observe how these knowledge gaps can impact your workload and undermine team morale. A good manager discovers that their team performs better when they exchange information and ideas.

Tip: Alert your manager to a need for more communication. To make it seem like a team effort, request that your manager and every team member share information.

8. You feel like your manager breaks rules they expect the team to follow

Your manager may set rules for the staff or order them to abide by company policy, but it might appear that they frequently justify breaking the same rules by blaming the manager. A good manager exhibits clear leadership, which includes setting a good example and abiding by all company rules.

Advice: Adhere to company policy and make an effort not to worry about other people’s bad behavior, even if it involves your manager.

9. You encounter inconsistent management

You may be observing favoritism if you feel that your manager’s rules and standards vary from person to person. Additionally, you might observe that their recommendations and directives appear to change from day to day or meeting to meeting, which can make it difficult to identify your objectives and determine the best way to carry out tasks. In contrast, a good manager creates a workplace where everyone has access to consistent guidance.

Tip: Consider requesting a standardized team policy. Additionally, you can inform your manager if you believe they are treating you unfairly.

10. Your manager seems to show a lack of flexibility

If it’s difficult for you to take time off, make it to appointments, or use the company’s new work-from-home policy, you might feel like your manager isn’t being accommodating. Or, if it appears that your manager is unwilling to make improvements to the office environment, such as changing the break schedule or adding items to the office kitchen, they may prefer to keep things as they are.

A good manager, on the other hand, knows what aspects of the workplace should remain constant and what can be flexible. They are aware of emergencies, particularly when staff members assume responsibility for their work.

Advice: Be understanding when unforeseen circumstances necessitate scheduling flexibility and let people know you can make up time if necessary. Additionally, you can demonstrate how the requested change will increase employee or productivity satisfaction.

11. You feel your manager doesnt respect personal time

Even though you have a set number of hours to work, you might frequently be expected to work overtime on the weekends and at the last minute. Perhaps you receive emails and notifications outside of business hours, and you’re torn between prioritizing your manager’s needs and those of your family.

A good manager sets clear guidelines for working hours and implements a reliable system for keeping track of these compensated hours. They ought to outline their overtime policy and make clear what is required and what is volunteer work. They can also establish guidelines for when to contact you about work.

Tip: Encourage your manager and team members to get to know one another by organizing team-building activities. Consider establishing boundaries and letting people know that you will use your free time to rest and recover from things other than work and these occasions.

12. You experience a lack of team building by your manager

You might feel that the only time your team gathers is for meetings, or that your workplace appears to disregard holidays, birthdays, and work anniversaries. Your manager might not recognize the importance of team building if you feel like you’ve never gotten to know your coworkers because your team has never gathered for a planned fun event or volunteer time.

A good manager is aware that teamwork is improved when employees are given opportunities to forge closer bonds, occasionally through informal celebrations and occasionally through carefully thought-out activities.

Start by bringing birthday cards for everyone to sign as a group. Consider suggesting a casual after-work get-together like happy hour.

13. You feel like your manager forgets to say “thank you”

If your manager fails to express gratitude or congrats for a job well done, you may feel undervalued and undervalued. A good manager offers constructive criticism and is aware that appreciation fosters teamwork.

Try subliminal reinforcement by making it a personal rule to always express gratitude to your manager and team.


How do you know you have a bad manager?

They’re passive aggressive or ignore you. A bad boss who rarely communicates with you about where you (or they) stand is one of the most unsettling, telltale signs of this type of manager. According to Taylor, “most employees would prefer to receive direct criticism from their manager than deal with an outwardly friendly but backstabbing boss.”

What are the traits of a bad manager?

Avoid these characteristics of bad managers:
  • Micromanaging.
  • Burned out.
  • Unprofessional.
  • Poor communication.
  • Demanding authority.
  • Unprepared.
  • Unapproachable.
  • Wanting their team to make them look good.

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