Bad Managers: Are They Hiding in Plain Sight? - HighGround

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Bad Managers: Are They Hiding in Plain Sight?

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When you think of a bad manager, what comes to mind? Is it someone who berates employees in front of other coworkers? Someone who makes his or her team stay late or come in early everyday for no reason? Are they too “into the weeds” of employees’ work? It’s usually pretty easy for anyone in a company to identify those kind of bad managers even if they don’t’ report directly to them. But what about the things a bad manager doesn’t do?

Skipping 1-on-1 Meetings

Getting stood up says a lot about any relationship. And it’s not just personal relationships – professional relationships suffer too when it’s clear that one person is more invested in it than the other. In the workplace, when a manager ditches a 1-on-1 meeting with an employee, it not only sends a strong message to the employee but it might suggest a deeper issue. For companies using employee engagement technologies like HighGround that guide and track these check-in conversations, HR can drill down into their frequency — or infrequency to ask better questions about managers’ performance. With this solution in place, HR can ask questions like:

  • Is one manager consistently ignoring requests from his or her team for 1-on-1 conversations?
  • Has one manager in a particular location actually declined requests for check-in meetings?
  • Is there one manager who has never received a check-in request from an employee?

Ignoring Requests for Feedback

If skipping 1-on-1 meetings is the equivalent of ditching plans, then disregarding requests for feedback is comparable to ignoring a question over text message. Managers who continually disregard feedback requests are a red flag. Asking for feedback is not easy so when a manager ignores it completely, employee morale and performance can suffer. These managers could either have too much on their plate to respond, or they might be unsure of how to deliver feedback constructively. Either way, there’s an issue that needs to be addressed. HR can surface this information by asking:

  • Does a particular manager have pending feedback requests? How many?
  • Do employees on a particular team regularly solicit feedback from someone other than their direct manager?
  • If open-ended questions are asked, does the manager ever respond? Or do they do the bare minimum?

A lack of data is as powerful as an abundance of it. Platforms like HighGround can provide powerful analytics about the quality and quantity of feedback, recognition and sentiment. However, it also spotlights areas of inactivity. With these analytics in hand, HR can ask data-informed questions that will help managers become better leaders and ultimately, contribute to a more feedback-rich culture.

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