4 Signs That You Have a Bad Manager

Fact: A statistic often quoted is that 65% of employees leave an organisation because they have a bad manager. 

Your manager can literally make or break your experience at a company and, in extreme circumstances, your future career.

But, before you update that CV and start looking for a fresh start somewhere new, it is important to consider; are they really a bad manager? And is there anything you could do to improve your situation?

Or… are you really to blame? (For example, are you argumentative, lazy or constantly late?) It’s worth giving this some thought before you do anything that you might regret.

However, assuming that you’re not to blame, here are some of the clearest signs that you do indeed have a bad manager – and that it’s probably time to move on.

1. They Have Favourites (even if you’re one of them)
Fact: A team is successful when they work together and use their own individual strengths to positively impact the whole project they are working on.

Bad managers fail to recognise this and therefore pick favourites, causing rifts within their own team.
Perhaps they give the nicer or more prestigious roles or tasks to one person. Or maybe they let them get away with murder. Whatever it is, it’s bad management.

On the other hand, a bad manager can sometimes pick on people they don’t like. This is when bully tactics can come into play.

Even if you’re the favourite right now, this kind of management leads to a toxic environment which is bound to have a negative impact on you and the team, so consider moving on.

2. They Don’t Actually Give You Criticism
Fact: It’s a manager’s job to give you both good and bad feedback.

So, if you have a manager who struggles to criticise your work, don’t think it’s because you are perfect. Perhaps in the short term the fact that all of your work is getting pushed through and you never hear anything negative is great… but in the long term it will frustrate your progress and cause you stress.
How can you improve in such circumstances? The truth is, you can’t.

Conversely, if you’re not hitting your targets, getting results or things aren’t quite going to plan with your projects, it will cause you a great deal of stress and eventually lead to disaster.

You want a boss who can help you to improve and flourish – by giving you constructive feedback.

3. They Don’t Recognise Your Skills
Fact: A manager should make the most out of your skills and strengths and use them to improve the business.

A bad manager will leave you doing mundane and/or ridiculously difficult tasks you can’t possibly complete. And you’ll never achieve job satisfaction or improve that way.

A good manager will steer you towards tasks that will improve your skillset but that they know you’ll be able to do well; things that will improve you and the business, at the same time.

4. They Don’t Realise How Hard You Work
Fact: Unrecognised or unappreciated hard work leads to job dissatisfaction, lack of engagement and eventual disaster.

You might be putting in long hours but your manager might not notice. Or perhaps, they work even harder than you and therefore don’t appreciate the extra time you put in.
What your manager doesn’t realise is that, eventually, you’re bound to give up that extra effort, because what’s the point, right? Or worst-case scenario, you may even burn out.

It is a well-known fact that employees tend to thrive as long as they are:
• Managed
• Lead
• Stretched
• Generally taken care of

Sadly, there are plenty of bad managers out there who don’t care or don’t have the time or ability to help you grow. Sometimes it’s their fault, sometimes it’s not.

However, if you feel that they are stifling your creativity and career, treating you inappropriately or unfairly or even just making you work too hard with no appreciation, it might be time to look for a new job because it’s unlikely that they are going to change any time soon.

Check out our candidate page to see how we can help.