Of course, every manager will have a slightly different style of management which revolves around their individual personality. Nevertheless, their are still some general traits that allow managers to fail or succeed.

With that said listed below are 5 characteristics of incompetent managers.

  1. They only know one way to increase profits and that is by cutting payroll.

  2. They do not invest enough time in making sure that their employees are trained.

  3. They take advantage of good employees.

  4. They don't have a clue about their employees' jobs.

  5. They always have to go by the book.

Bad Managers
Credit: Bill Lumbergh of Office Space

The Only Way To Increase Profit Is By Decreasing Payroll

It irks me when I see corporations immediately giving the axe to their employees in order to reduce payroll in order to make a profit. Of course there are times when you simply have to let people go but layoffs should be your last resort. The problem that I have with this course of action is that it is the easy out. It does not take a smart manager to recognize that they will add to the bottom line if they lay off half of their workforce. Any idiot can lay off their employees.

The best managers find ways to increase profitability without having to get rid of their employees. How about getting rid of the corporate jets? How about finding ways to do reduce the amount of electricity you use? What about allowing people to work from home? How about reducing the amount of paper that you use for office documents?

Obviously, there are several ways to significantly cut costs without having to reduce your workforce. So managers do your job and come up with solutions or strategies that can reduce your company's costs? Because in reality you can't continue to lay off your entire staff. 

Does Not Take Time To Train Employees

Their are many managers out there who feel like the best training is experience. While I agree with this notion, the problem is this is their only method of training. There are some instances where managers are so eager to get the employee to work that they rush through training. If they are really desperate they will just put them out there with no training and teach them as they go.

Training is so important when it comes to operating a business. Employees that are not trained properly can lead so many problems and, depending on the industry, a fatality.

Below are some of the issues that can arise as a result of untrained employees.

  • Customer Services Problems (Lost Customers = Lost Sales)
  • Loss of Sales (No Customers = No Sales)
  • Destruction of equipment, machinery, and software (More Expenses)
  • Major Disasters including fatalities and environmental (Possible legal expenses among others)

Yes it will cost money and time to train your employees in the short-term but it will save you a lot of money and times in the long-term.

Take Advantage Of Good Employees

Their are managers who know who their best employees are but instead of rewarding them they try to give them more work. So what you will have is the best employees doing the bulk of the work yet receiving the same pay as their average counterparts. This type of dynamic will cause your best employees to look elsewhere for work. As a result, your business will have high employee turnover. It is also possible that your former employees will work for one of your competitors.

Of course there are instances where you cannot afford to give your good employees a pay raise. Nevertheless, there are several ways that you can show your appreciation to your best employees. You could acknowledge them by giving them an award. You could give them a gift card or even a paid day off.  

Does Not Have A Clue About Their Employees' Jobs

You would think that the CEO of an entire company would have some idea of about what their employees do on a daily basis. However, in many instances this is not the case. There is a television show called Undercover Boss that highlights this phenomenon. The show puts an high level executive in a lower level role to experience what their employees experience on a daily basis. Usually, after the executive has went through the experience they have a better appreciation of what their employees do for them.

If a manager knows what their employees go through on daily basis, then they can improve work conditions and company processes. This can, ultimately, increase employee productivity and efficiency which can lead to increased profits. In addition to that, employees tend to want to stay with companies with excellent working conditions which reduces employee turnover.

Managers must get out of the office and find out what is going on at the front lines of their companies. One of the best ways to come up with solutions to company problems is to talk to your employees. Also it is a good idea to have an "open door policy" where employees can let management know the problems that they are experiencing.    

Always Have To Go By The Book

Don't you hate it when a manager says its against the rules. I mean aren't you the manager? Do you make the rules? Obviously, there are some instances where you cannot break the rules or go against policy. Of course, if breaking the rules will lead to possible jail time, fines, lawsuits, or losing a license, then you should probably follow the law or policy unless you are Jack Bauer from CTU(A joke guys).

Jack Bauer
Credit: Jack Bauer of 24

Jack Bauer from the TV show 24. He always bends the rules but he usually gets good results and saves a lot of lives. 

Just in case you are not familiar with Jack Bauer he is a character on the hit TV show 24 and he is the epitome of a leader who is always bending the rules to get positive results. There are some cases where he totally goes against protocol and his supervisors, who are obviously upset, can't argue with his results.

Basically, if what you are doing is ethical and not breaking the law, then chances are you are not going to have problems. Sometimes you have to bend the rules to quickly solve problems with your customers. Can your superiors really argue with you for bending the rules to satisfy a customer?

Also let's face it some policies and procedures may be outdated. Maybe it's time for us to change some of our company policies. Why don't you be the leader and come up with a better policy or procedure? Leaders and successful managers are constantly looking for better solutions or strategies. Bad managers are afraid to change the status quo and challenge longstanding policies or procedures.   

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Have you ever experienced any managers who have these traits? Tell us about them in the comments sections below.