If you ask most people what they think of their manager, they will usually say one of two things: (1) My manager is the best, or (2) my manager is completely insane. There doesn’t seem to be much gray area when it comes to management and the duties this entails. Either you are a good manager trying to be better or you fall into the category of a manager gone bad.

When a Manager Goes Bad

This week, a former colleague of mine advised me that things had taken a turn for the worse at work. Over the course of the last year, her normally respectful supervisor has changed from being an understanding and supportive manager to an overbearing and paranoid train-wreck to work for. My friend is continually watched by said manager, even to the point where her bathroom breaks are being monitored and timed. This outraged me to say the least, because no employee should have to work in what’s becoming a hostile work environment.

Bad Management is a Corporate Cultural Phenomenon

The truth is, part of the problem at this company is that there is a pervasive culture change. What used to be a great place to work has now become a breeding ground for childish and complete unprofessional behavior perpetrated by people who have no business being managers in the first place. It’s a shame that this company is losing good people who have proven their loyalty over many years of service, all because no one is brave enough to step up to these power-hungry, ill-equipped managers.

HR People – Time to Step Up!

As human resources professionals, it is up to our community to notice managers  who lack the skills and ability to lead. There are far too many organizations where people who have no true leadership ability are put into positions of authority only to destroy the efforts of the company to maintain key employees. In cases like these, the company ultimately loses when employees leave to escape bad bosses.

All managers should be put through strict training processes, with mentorship support from upper management. This training should include a deep review of how to motivate employees with positive reinforcement, how to honor diversity in the workplace, and how to manage stress. Additionally, HR needs to have a policy in place for reporting incidents of management violations so that employees can get help if a manager gets out of control.

Letting managers consistently step over the line  of what’s acceptable is a cancer in any workplace. This negative behavior and attitude of disrespect will ruin even the best of organizations. Take the time to pay attention to the signs of bad bosses (high turnover, tardiness and absences, employee stress, etc.) and take the initiative to change before it’s too late.

Got a bad manager story you’d like to share? Or do you have advice for HR professionals who want to turn their organizations around? Be sure to add your comments below!