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Do employees really leave bad managers?


In light of the recent (but maybe not so surprising) sacking of Manchester United’s manager Jose Mourinho, we thought it important to place the spotlight on Business Managers this week. We’ve all heard the saying ‘People leave bad managers, not companies’ but how true is this? 

In Mourinho’s unfortunate situation, as with many failing football managers, the title was removed from him by his organisation and many have been waiting for this moment. Under his management we have seen one of the Premier League’s most successful clubs deteriorate, players reject his method of working and ultimately create a lack of ability between the team as productivity and success has decreased. Relating this back to UK business, what happens when businesses fail to remove a toxic manager?

Data suggests that bad management is a real significant issue that often leads to employees eventually leaving their job, with one in two people admitting to have left their job for exactly this reason (according to a study by Gallup). According to new research by YouGov UK, a survey of 2,006 British employees also found that 73% of employees who have experienced poor management or a poor manager have considered leaving a job and, among these a staggering 55% actually quit their job because of this. So, how can you stop yourself from falling into bad management habits?

1. Ownership
As a manager it can be all too easy to abdicate responsibility and pass blame to someone who may not be performing as well as you may like. The culture of “that’s not my problem” may not mould too well in an environment with new staff who are adjusting to your business - after all you are there to guide your team. Instead of assigning blame to others when things go wrong, try and figure out your own role in the situation. What are the things that you have done, or not done, that have contributed to the problems at hand?

2. Seek advice
No matter how senior you may be, you should always be asking for peer review on a people management issue before you take action - whether that’s from your own manager or your HR team. If you have someone on your team who may not be performing to your expectation, ask for help on how best to coach them differently as what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. 

3. Praise your team
It’s easy for managers to get caught up in looking forward all the time which ultimately encourages them to focus on problem areas and solving them. When this happens, it is easy for your team to feel unvalued - just another cog in the machine to meeting productivity targets. Always make sure you remember to celebrate your team’s success and make sure they know they are individually having an impact. It could be as simple as giving someone detailed, timely feedback face to face on something they just did really well. If you feel like someone has gone the extra mile, call them out positively in a communal channel for all to see. 

If you remain humble, ask for advice when you’re unsure and empathise with your team - you’re on the path to being a good manager. Success as a manager breeds complacency, and it’s all too easy to fall into bad habits of overconfidence. You need to constantly revisit what it takes to be a good manager, so you never risk losing your best people.

If you are a manager looking to find the next addition to your team in the new year, please contact us on 0161 713 0252

By Nina Yeulett on 19 Dec 2018

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