Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bad Bosses is Bad Business

“Employees stuck in an abusive [reporting] relationship experience more exhaustion, job tension, nervousness, depressed mood and mistrust”

Good bosses understand their business, their piece of the puzzle and the work involved, and are able to communicate all of this effectively ...

Best Bosses:
  • Listen more, seeks input actively, and lets people know their opinions were important
  • Understands the business well — not just their own areas, but how the different pieces fit together
  • Decisive, capable of making sound decisions based on available information
  • Give timely feedback, constructively
  • Engage people in their organisational roles, and provide a "line of sight" into how their individual performance affects the group's success.

Worst Bosses:
  • Isolate themselves, accepts input from only a selected group of people
  • Limited understanding of the "big picture," focuses only on their areas of (often technical) expertise; either un-interested in, or incurious about, the overall enterprise
  • Indecisive, insecure about their roles, and incapable of making independent judgements
  • Avoid contact with subordinates, providing little more than annual performance reviews (with little or no input about the employee's actual performance)
  • Have a fragmented view of the organisation, and perhaps be a bit misanthropic — uncomfortable, both with others and the job
  • Often kept and rewarded simply because they (and the group) they manage brings in money to the organisation
  • Creates an unsettled, apprehensive, work environment

Organisations with a strong well communicated, business mission and sense of shared valves, tend to consistently promote and reward those who best support the culture. Poor supervisory practices, rather than dissatisfaction with pay, is the predominant driver of employee turnover, where workers are less likely to work longer in the evenings or at weekends, and take on more tasks, and more risk. Companies with poor management practices become risk-averse, which essentially dries up the flow of innovation and new ideas