As managers, we should be able to relate to our employee's concerns and questions, people issues, and general human problems. Seeing as no one (at least anyone I know) starts off their working lives as a manager, relating to employees should be a no-brainer, right? Sadly, as anyone who has a manager understands, is that there are common things that managers around the country struggle with. After reading an article on Forbes.com about 25 things managers do that drive their employees crazy, it really resonated with me. Why do these gaffes happen, and how can we take this information and use it to foster development between the manager and employee relationship? Take a look at the list of 25 things managers do that drive their employees crazy according to Liz Ryan, contributor at Forbes:
1. They give the same assignment to two different employees, both of whom invest precious time and energy on the project before realizing that they’re duplicating one another’s work.
2. They say, “Thank you so much!” to someone who brought them a cup of decaf coffee in a meeting but don’t say a word of thanks to the person who worked until midnight for two weeks straight putting together a killer sales presentation.
3. They wait until 4:30 in the afternoon to tell you about an urgent priority that has to be handled today.
4. They deal with you every day but they can’t remember your title or your job description.
5. They call a meeting to walk through the new Strategic Plan and once everyone understands it, they say, “Of course, this Strategic Plan still has to get approval from our VP.” Six months later, the approval is still held up and you’ve got no plan at all to follow.
6. They ask you about your personal life but then immediately forget everything you tell them including your partner’s, kids’ and pets’ names. (At this point you can invent new family members any time you want!)
7. They say, “I have an Open Door policy” but whenever they get to their office, they go straight inside and close the door.
8. They give you a new No. 1 Priority to focus on at least twice a week.
9. They expect you to read their mind, and look at you in shock and horror when you seem to have forgotten something that they never told you.
10. They tell you that they have a concern about an interaction you had with another employee, and when you ask them who the person was and why they were upset, your manager says, “I can’t remember.”
11. They talk endlessly about Being Professional but they spill something on their shirt every time they eat at a meeting and their desk looks like a tornado has just passed through.
12. They praise you for something you had nothing to do with.
13. They mention a plum assignment — for instance, by saying, “This presentation looks great, and I want you to share it at the executive team meeting next month!” but when you mention the plum assignment again, they say, “Really? I said that? I wonder what I meant. There are no presentations given at the executive team meeting. Hmmm.”
14. They tell you they’re going to get a temp to help you, then an intern, then a temp again, and then it turns out there’s no budget.
15. They pour our their personal traumas and dramas and get your support when you are alone together but when you try to mention anything going on in your life they say, “Let’s get back to our agenda!”
16. They spend the first 10 minutes of every meeting talking about non-business topics, but if you walk into the meeting one minute late they scowl at you.
17. They put off your one-on-one meeting for weeks, and when you finally push hard enough to make it happen they say, “That’s all you wanted — approval for that one purchase? Oh heck, I thought you already bought that. Sure, buy it and get it here fast!”
18. They forget to approve your vacation request six or seven times and when they finally focus on it, they say, “Why didn’t you ask for these days off sooner?”
19. They have a less-than-professional nickname for their boss, but no one else is allowed to use it.
20. They have a hard time distinguishing between suck-ups who do little to no work and the hard-working employees who keep the department running.
21. They consult you on an important issue, say, “Thanks for your advice — that’s just what we’ll do!” and then they do the exact opposite.
22. They give you a pressing assignment that is going to take a huge number of extra hours, and then they say, “You’re working too hard — you should go home and rest!”
23. They approve massive travel expenses with the wave of a pen but make a big deal out of your requisition for an electric stapler.
24. They ask you to put everything in writing but never respond to email messages or texts.
25. They are human, like you and me and every other person on earth. Being human is messy and vexing at times — for you, your manager and for all of us!
Do you have another thing to add to this list that drives you crazy? Leave a comment below if so. What these irritants reflect is a company's culture, a buzzword we keep hearing in corporate America for good reason. Culture defines who we are in a workplace, down to the interactions between the manager and employee, employee to employee, and employee to customer. We, at Progress Coaching, are offering a webinar to help build a culture that you would be proud to call your own, one that values every level of employment at your office. Click here to learn more.
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