Thursday, March 18, 2010

The People I Work With: The Managers Who Can't Manage Others

I'm going to continue with this series since it seems to have hit the right cord with the audience. Next comes the managers who can't manage others. You know who these people are. They may be brilliant people who are great at what they do, but as soon as they are put in charge of others, they don't know how to manage. They either micromanage or undermanage and they provide a tough environment for their co-workers to work in.

Sometimes you can't teach a person how to be a good manager. Some people just don't have the ability to relate to others in a way you need managers to do in a good job environment. And it doesn't mean that the manager is a bad person or has bad intentions.

The problems here are numerous. You have frustrated reports who either feel suffocated or that they're not getting enough support. Sometimes the manager becomes an office bully. Sometimes the manager refuses to go to bat for their reports. Sometimes the manager will make the employees they are in charge of feel that what they do will never be enough or that they're set up to fail. They may not mix in the right combination of praise and constructive criticism. They may even engage in activities that open their company to lawsuits.

The first thing Human Resources needs to do is to provide enough training to managers to make sure they have the skill set necessary to be managers. But HR needs to also identify those people who should never be managers and make sure they don't have that responsibility over others. Just because someone is in a high position or is highly skilled does not mean they necessarily need--or deserve--to have people report to them if they can't handle the task. HR needs to be attuned to these situations and try to intervene whenever issues arise. This is the only way to make sure that the workplace environment between employees and their managers is a healthy one for everyone involved.


-Andrew

1 comment:

Stat Counter