What to do if You Have a Bad Manager
There are a lot of schools of thought on how an employee should handle the problem of working for a bad manager. The first problem comes in identifying exactly what a “bad” manager is. There are two ways a manager’s performance can be interpreted as inappropriate. They are:
- inept at performing his professional duties
- inadequate people skills
The ability to execute professional duties is just as important to being a good manager as the need to be able to relate to the staff. But, in many cases, personal issues between a manager and employee are not a good basis for determining whether or not a manager is not able to perform his job. Before an employee takes confrontational steps to rectify what the employee sees as a bad manager, that employee needs to take some other important things into consideration first.
An employee who feels strongly about the abilities of his manager needs to re-evaluate his personal relationship with that manager. It is important to remember that personal relationships cannot have any influence on professional performance. If you happen to live next door to your manager and you two do not get along on personal level, then that cannot affect how you two interact on a professional level.
If the employee looks around the department and realizes that he is the only person with a personal problem with the manager, then that should tell the employee that he needs to proceed cautiously. The problem could be that the employee simply does not like the manager. If that is the case, then a private discussion with the manager on the topic could clear the air and allow the employee to still work for the manager and be able to separate personal feelings from professional obligation.
General Department Dissatisfaction
It is important to remember that going over your manager’s head about anything can have serious repercussions later on. If the entire department feels that a manager is professionally inept, then it may be time to get human resources involved in the situation. When you get human resources involved you accomplish two important things. The first thing you accomplish is that you bring the staff’s concerns to the company’s attention without going over the manager’s head. If human resources feels that the matter needs to be escalated to a higher level, then human resources can make that call.
The other thing that getting human resources involves does is that it gives the staff a voice that will go on record as trying to resolve the situation rather than allowing rumors to let things get out of hand. If the staff feels a manager is inept, then it helps to take the professional approach rather than allowing whispering and rumors to make the situation worse.
If your manager is verbally abusive and abuses the authority the company has given him, then you need to make detail accounts of each situation that you can bring to the company’s attention. If you feel that you have a bad, and potentially dangerous, manager in your department, then the company will want to see proof. If you do not have something concrete to go on, then the situation could backfire and the manager would have the backing of the executive team.