The Best and Worst Traits of Managers

According to a study by Gallup, 50% of adults have quit their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.” Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, explained that one of the most important and biggest decisions you make at your company is who you assign leadership and management roles to. How do you know what traits make a bad leader and what traits make a great leader?

Read further for the top 3 traits of Toxic Managers VS Great Leaders:

Here is a list of common traits of Toxic Leaders that will stall productivity and drive away good employees. 

1: Managers who bully and only look out for themselves.

Employees need to feel safe and appreciated in their work environment. Being bullied by a manager is one of the quickest ways to employee turnover. According to Babs Ryan, author of America’s Corporate Brain Drain, “only 1% of bullies are fired; action is usually taken against the [bully’s] target.” Employees will not stay without a leader they can trust and look to for guidance.

2: Missing in action.

Managers who are consistently unavailable and unable to effectively communicate are one of the weakest links in the chain. Inability to provide feedback and expectations sets employees up for failure. When a manager is not available to provide follow up clarification and direction on updates, projects will most likely fall short.

3: Managers who steal the spotlight and are never wrong.

These managers minimize and even take credit for their employee’s successes. Employees have a hard time trusting or feeling encouraged to perform because they do not receive the rightful recognition they deserve. Defensive managers who deflect and do not take responsibility when wrong also create mistrust and tension among employees.

Let’s review some of the top traits of Great Leaders that will keep employees motivated to stay with their company and perform well.

1: Availability and Communication

Approachable managers with open door policies tend to foster engaged and fruitful employees. Being available outside of annual reviews to answer questions and give feedback and direction to team members is key to a positive and rewarding office culture.

2: Recognition

Great managers positively reinforce their employee’s successes.  Direct and genuine recognition promotes employee confidence and strengthens motivation. Providing all employees with equal opportunity and across the board recognition practices is the strongest foundation for a rewards and recognition program.

3: Enthusiasm

An enthusiastic leader is motivated and dedicated to the progression and success of their role, their company and their team. Sharing this enthusiasm and drive inspires employees to put their best foot forward and work hard to reach their individual and team goals.

According to SHRM, nearly a third of employees don’t trust their management. It’s crucial to be aware of your manager’s traits and qualities and how they may be affecting your employees. Employees are more likely to look up to people they like and can learn from. If they cannot trust their managers, how can they work together and collaborate? Leaders need to be approachable, transparent and strong communicators. When you have excellent leaders, you have happy and productive employees who can grow into great leaders themselves.