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Management Style Can Scare Employees

Posted on: October 22nd, 2014

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How management styles can scare away employees and applicants

The Boogeyman, the Ghost and the Headless Horseman; How Management Style Can Scare Away Employees and Applicants

With Halloween just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to match Halloween characters with different management styles. Managers operating under these management styles can be a major factor behind employee turnover and higher recruiting costs. Have you worked with any of these characters before?

The Boogeyman

This type of manager leads by fear. Employees are typically afraid for their jobs. The work atmosphere is typically tense and employees are too busy to collaborate with others. These employees may work a lot of hours to justify their jobs, but quality may suffer. Morale is often low under this type of manager. It’s not uncommon for workers to be yelled at, publically. In this stressful environment, absenteeism rates are high. If you support this management style, expect high turnover. Most employees will run out the door given the chance.

The Ghost

This type of manager is often absent – like a ghost. The manager often hides in his/her office, travels frequently or makes a career out of going to meetings. There is no regular employee engagement because the manager is never present. Communication is typically done via email; management via metrics and reports generated by a system. It’s hard to tell whether this manager is good or bad, but employees will have low engagement and little loyalty. Productivity may be lower than other areas because this manager does not have time to work with employees or focus them on their goals. It beats the management style of the boogeyman!

The Headless Horseman

This type of manager is often galloping through the work environment, from meeting to meeting, and never has a chance to catch his/her breath. Their daily mantra — I’m too busy to meet/discuss – just figure it out! Under this type of management style, employees can get very frustrated.

This manager has no time for employees and never has time to lend a hand to those in the trenches. Like the ghost, the headless horseman is often absent, but perhaps not by choice. Many companies, especially larger ones, have developed a “meeting culture”.  Executives often spend upwards of 28 hours per week in meetings alone.

The headless horseman’s employees’ are often left to fend for themselves, receive little or no instructions, often via email, and have no chance to bounce new ideas, learn new skills or have a mentor with this type of manager.

This is not an awful work environment, but over the long term, employees will become dis-engaged, start feeling like they are going nowhere and eventually leave.

The Great Pumpkin

Everyone loves this type of manager, and often wait their entire careers to work for one.

These managers provide a great balance between leadership, mentoring and empathy, and roll up their sleeves and jump into the trenches whenever necessary. Employees working under this type of manager have higher productivity, are more engaged and loyal and are focused on their goals. These employees are least likely to leave the organization.

Every organization needs more Great Pumpkins to reduce turnover, provide opportunities for employee growth and make the work environment a supportive, engaging place to be.

How does management style effect the workplace?

  • Can create higher turnover & higher recruiting costs
  • Impacts employee engagement & productivity
  • Can negatively impact the employer brand
  • Can scare away potential applicants (i.e. negative Glassdoor reviews)
  • Can impact the organization’s ability to collaborate and be successful
  • Can negatively impact the rate of absenteeism
  • Can increase your risk of discrimination claims and lawsuits

Your company probably has a mixture of styles. Which type of managers do you really want to have?

Happy Halloween!

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