Although 73% of HR professionals surveyed believe that “problem” managers are a significant concern in today’s workplace and have negative implications on employee engagement, turnover and workplace morale, most organizations will tolerate at least some managerial misbehaviour as long as that manager is getting results.
These findings come from a survey conducted by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) and Canadian HR Reporter late last year. The survey polled 800 HR professionals across the country.
“Problem managers fall into different camps,” says Claude Balthazard, HRPA’s director of HR excellence. “There are managers who are poorly trained, or promoted to management for the wrong reasons, and there are those managers whose values and attitudes are at odds with those of the organization. Management training can prove to be useful for the first group, but is not helpful for the ‘bad apples’ out there.”
According to the survey, the most problematic behaviours exhibited by bad managers included inappropriate comments (74%), favouritism (70%), unwillingness to follow due process (63%), treating employees with disrespect (62%), and bullying or intimidation (57%).
Yet to employees’ chagrin, 35% of respondents said their organization would tolerate just about anything from a results-achieving “problem” manager.
Respondents expressed an understanding that just a few bad managers in an organization can negatively impact employee engagement, turnover and morale. However, the survey noted that incidence of problem managers might be underreported by employees due to fear of reprisals, and that issues can go undetected for a long time until problems blow up.