I was recently let go from a company that I had been very excited to work for and had planned on working at until I retired. While I did enjoy working there and was surprised when I was told I was working my last day, I must admit that I won’t miss working for my immediate manager. Even though she was very knowledgeable of processes, good with Excel, and could work for very long hours, she was, overall, a terrible manager for several reasons.
1. Long hours- When I was hired, she mentioned that while she worked long hours (around 15 a day, 5–6 days a week), she didn’t expect anyone else on the team (hourly or salary) to do the same. While she spoke the words, her actions suggested otherwise. If a person was away from their desk for more than five minutes, she would ask them what they’d been doing. Lunch breaks became a thing of the past and people were afraid to take breaks at all. At one point, she admitted to me the toll the long hours had taken on her health, yet she refused to cut back, though her own life was literally at risk. It’s good to be driven, but not at the cost of your own health or the moral of your team.
2. Micro Manager- As mentioned above, my manager watched to make sure people stayed at their desks. This created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion on the team. Such a team will never have sustained success and the team constantly struggled to retain members and keep up with their workload.
3. Withholding Information- It’s normal for upper management to be the first to hear about company decisions and directions. Those managers are then responsible to pass any and all pertinent information onto their direct reports. My manager didn’t do this very well at all. Most of the time, we’d receive a company-wide email about something and then our manager would mention it when we’d ask. A well-informed team will always outperform a team full of doubt and uncertainty.
4. Not a People Person- My manger had been with the company for over ten years and knew the rules, regulations, procedures, and systems very well. What she didn’t know was her team. When she spoke to us, the conversation was almost always strictly business. In fact, I got a warning from her because I once asked what her husband does for work. She didn’t know how to be personable at all and there was just no way to relate to her. While some personal information isn’t appropriate for the workplace, a manager needs to know how to relate to their team. This is how a manager can understand what motivates a person and how their…