Why bad managers are contributing to the Great Resignation

Many workers in various sectors feel they don't need a manager to do their job

Why bad managers are contributing to the Great Resignation

Amid the ongoing Great Resignation, it has become even more important for employers to ensure they’re putting the best people in managerial positions.

This is because 82% of American workers would potentially quit their job because of a bad manager during this time, according to a recent report from Redwood City, CA-based employment screening services provider GoodHire. This sentiment is most common among workers in healthcare (88%), finance and insurance (86%), education (83%) and the hospitality and legal (both 82%) sectors.

But what makes a manager bad?

“Respondents said they are most irritated by a manager who is overbearing and micromanages, as well as a manager who expects them to work outside of working hours. Across the ten job sectors surveyed, these two answers were by far the most common,” said Sara Korolevich, managing editor at GoodHire.

Nearly six in 10 of staff members who quit their job cited their manager as the reason behind their departure, a previous report found. And bad managers may also be harming their organization’s ability to innovate, according to another report.

Less than half (46%) of all American workers feel as though their manager truly respects their personal time and time away from work, and 84% think they could do their manager’s job.

“While quitting because of a bad manager is a huge and important decision, oftentimes those decisions are made because of consistent unhappiness at work,” Korolevich said. “When we asked respondents how many days per week their manager does something that annoys them, the most popular answer was just one day per week. Two days per week was the second most popular answer.”

Putting no one in a managerial position may be better than putting a bad one there. In fact, 83% of respondents feel they can do their job without a manager. Workers in finance and insurance (89%), healthcare (88%), hospitality and science and tech (both 87%) and education and software (both 86%) agree with this far more than the general survey population.

Overall, 70% of Americans strongly enjoy or somewhat enjoy working for their manager, according to the study based on a survey of 3,000 respondents conducted Dec. 4 to 9, 2021.

Read more: Why HR leaders need to ‘remind employees to take time off’

“After uncovering the characteristics of an annoying manager, we asked respondents to share the traits that they covet most in a manager and the responses were overwhelmingly in favor of a manager who is both authentic and honest,” said Korolevich.

A great manager is a leader who cultivates good habits in others, according to a previous report.

However, only 32% of American workers believe that management really cares about their career progression, according to GoodHire’s study. Also, just 39% believe that their managers are open and honest about promotion opportunities, while only 44% believe that their managers are open and honest in salary and compensation conversations.

“Managers are tasked with actively planning and executing activities that promote bonding within the environment. This not only creates a healthy relationship between managers and employees but also boosts productivity,” said Tony M. Fountain, who founded Now Entertainment in 2011 as a studio and label imprint.

“Unfortunately, many managers do not realize that their workers are unmotivated, uninspired, dissatisfied, or even experiencing fatigue. Focus is mainly on work output while they neglect other important aspects,” Fountain said.

The shift to working remotely hasn’t helped: 55% of workers said that remote work has either worsened their relationship with management or it hasn’t changed it. Also, only 22% of American workers think their managers definitely trust them to be productive while working remotely. This means that almost 80% have major trust issues with management, according to GoodHire.

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