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Bad Managers Drive Talent Away

By January 19, 2015July 27th, 2015HR Research

A manager with a poor reputation would cause 20% of people to turn down a job offer, according to research released last week.


A poll of 2,000 UK employees has revealed the effects a bad manager can have on an organisation, with a fifth of workers stating that they would turn down a job offer if their would-be supervisor had a poor reputation.

More worrisome for UK businesses is that almost a third of employees (31%) stated that they would rather leave their position than raise the subject of bad management with their HR department, compared to the 22% who said that they would speak to HR and try to resolve the issue. This highlights the lack of trust in an organisation that a bad manager can cause.

A quarter of employees stated that bad managers had caused them to lose sleep, whilst a further 21% said that they had been upset and/or cried in the workplace. 16% admitted to taking sick leave directly because of their manager. Further illustrating the negative impact an abusive supervisor can have, only 17% of employees surveyed stated that they felt they had learned more from a poor manager than they had from a good manager.

On the flip side, when talking about a good manager 27% of respondents stated that a supervisor had made them realise that they could achieve more in their work, and 25% said that a good manager had inspired them to further their career. 16% said that a good manager had helped them to overcome confidence issues, whilst more than one in five employees credited a good manager with helping them to view work issues differently.

Last November an unrelated study in the Harvard Business Review revealed a link between a manager’s behaviour and the amount of sleep they receive. The study, published in the Academy of Management Journal, showed that as a manager gets less quality sleep their level of self-control diminishes proportionately. This corresponds directly with both a rise in abusive behaviour and a fall in employee engagement.

The study was undertaken on the premise that bad management can lead to stress, poor performance and low job satisfaction for employees, and the results highlight just how significant a manager’s attitude can be to the overall performance of the business.

How do you address bad management when it affects your business? Whilst an untrained manager may claim there is no substitute for experience, management training offers them the ability to utilise that experience whilst developing interpersonal skills, and can educate them on how to assess and act upon employee feedback.

Stress could also be the cause of a manager’s bad behaviour, as separate research recently revealed the extent to which it can affect employees. HR Solutions can provide your business with access to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), a telephone or face-to-face counselling service that can support your employees across a wide range of issues that may be causing their performance to suffer.


If you need HR advice or support with any employee management issues please do not hesitate to get in touch on 0844 324 5840 or contact us online.

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