The success or failure of a department, unit or even an entire organization often depends on who is at the helm, according to some experts in human resources management.
Trudy Bourgeois, president and CEO of The Center for Workforce Development said angry, aloof or unconcerned managers are often the cause of creating an uncomfortable unproductive or even hostile work environment. Bourgeois has consulted and advised dozens of corporate clients including Hallmark, 3M, the Executive Leadership Council and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. She says habits such as not listening, ignoring or being unresponsive to employees’ needs and requests are common traits of ill-mannered and ill-advised managers.
“Accountability and being hopeful and confident on how to execute and improve a project begins at the top,” Bourgeois said. She adds, that when managers fail to accept responsibility for lapses or department shortfalls, they create an unproductive and at times, even a hostile work environment.
Others agreed. Kelvin Hawkins, a human resources manager at Hall’s- a large retail outlet based in Kansas City, Mo., said the old adage of a team being only as good as its leader is a tired but, indeed, true cliche. Hawkins said an amicable, professional and courteous manager will likely generate more work and better results from an employee than a boorish or aloof one. “If you are professional and approachable by your staff, they will go the extra mile for you and to make you look good,” Hawkins said. He added that employees will come in early; work late and take on special projects for a well-liked and amiable boss.
Lastly, John Challenger, a workplace expert and CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas in Chicago—a nationally revered employment consultant and recruitment firms—offered these cogent tidbits of advice to those workers with a case of the bad boss blues.
*Accept the fact that it is YOU who will have to change. Your boss likely got his or her job by behaving tough, brash and curt. Few bosses see the light and believe that they are wrong and won’t change.
*Don’t respond to negativity with more negativity. Don’t go off on your boss—no matter how tempting or cleansing it might be. You, undoubtedly, will end up making yourself the target of a smear campaign and ultimate revenge.
*If the boss’s behavior blatantly violated company policy or the law, go straight to Human Resources. In some cases, it might not be a bad idea to approach HR confidentially or even anonymously in the form of an after hours memo slipped underneath an HR manager’s door or a carefully placed note mysteriously left on the HR copy or fax machine or sent via Interoffice mail.
*The last resort: find another job. Look for a new position inside your own organization or seek employment elsewhere—or start your own business. Be willing to sacrifice a salary decrease or longer commute for piece of mind.