Workplace Culture

How Do We Handle Rude Micromanagers?

By Staff Report

May. 19, 2015

Dear Talent Turmoil:

Whether you can redeem “bad” managers or need to clean house depends on how motivated you are to retain customers and employees. Customers have options and will pay more to shop elsewhere if service and treatment is better. 

Talented employees also have options and will not stay in a toxic workplace. Employees who do stick around are often “checked out” emotionally, barely going through the motions.

Job applicants make choices, too. Millennials in particular are researching and relying on websites like for feedback on company and management culture. In short, addressing bad managers and the toxic culture they create is critical for the success of any business.

Corrective actions for bad managers require someone in authority defining new requirements, standards and meaningful consequences — including termination — if expectations are not met.  An effective manager performance-improvement plan should include targeted training, effective coaching and regular check-ins with managers and staff.

Alternatively, you might need to clean house, but first be sure to get your organizational house in order. Before you promote or hire new managers, do your homework to objectively assess the company culture. Conduct an internal culture audit based on interviews with diverse employees, managers and customers. To what extent does the company actually demonstrate its stated values?

Work with an organizational development consultant with expertise in organizational systems and management. Gather data and report the findings. Study the assessment and use it to determine next steps, address issues, update management job profiles, performance plans and bonus requirements.

Either solution — corrective action or starting over — takes time, discipline and commitment.  

SOURCE:  Patricia Duarte, principal, Decision Insight, Inc., Boston, May 10, 2015.

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