5 Bad Management Habits and How to Break Them

If you’ve ever worked for a bad boss, you know how frustrating the experience can be. You want to do your best work, but you’re often stopped in your tracks by the very person tasked with helping you succeed. It’s no wonder that conflicts with the boss are the number-one reason employees quit their jobs.

To reduce turnover rates and boost productivity, improve management. Here are five bad habits managers often develop, and how to break them:


Some managers find it difficult not to watch every little detail their staff handle; peering over shoulders and butting in on specifics. Being micromanaged, however, can feel like being under a microscope.  Too busy attending to the manager’s words and directions, staff never learn how to accomplish tasks on their own. Meanwhile, managers never have time to do their own work.

How to Break the Habit: Put your efforts into creating a clear, consistent set of guidelines for each task: What needs to be done, which details are crucial, when the task needs to be finished and what “finished” looks like. Then, give staff the space to do the work on their own and ask questions as they come up.


Many managers are full of great ideas, but there’s little in the way of consistency or overall vision.  Instead, they leap from one “great idea” to the next, leaving staff confused as to what the plan is this day or this week.

How to Break the Habit: Collect your great ideas in a journal or word-processing file before you announce them to the team. For each idea, consider how to fit it into your existing framework.  Plan the “rollout” of the idea, the training and the implementation before announcing it.  Enforce the policies you already have.

Prioritizing your tasks and time.

Every team member might have a question – but not every question might be as urgent or as important as they think at the time. Trying to answer every question yourself is a form of micromanagement, and it will overburden you without helping your staff.

How to Break the Habit: Designate your most experienced staff members as the first “go-to” point with questions. If staff can’t find the answer together, then should they come to you.

“I’ll Do It Myself” Syndrome.

Some managers avoid the micromanagement trap by falling into an even bigger trap: failing to delegate.  While some tasks have to be done by you, others can, and should be done by your team.

How to Break the Habit: Give your team clear guidelines that specify what matters about certain tasks.  Then, let them do the task while you focus on your own work. Give feedback once the task is complete.

Only paying attention to hiring when there’s a gap to fill.

It’s easy to let recruiting and hiring slide until it’s an emergency. But if you do, you’ll be scrambling to find “anyone who will do” instead of working at an efficient and thoughtful pace through a stack of candidates who will excel.

How to Break the Habit: Work with a staffing firm. Your staffing partner can keep your candidate recruiting process fresh and focused, so you can find better people when you need them.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters help our clients throughout Roseville and the Twin Cities become better managers – and hire better people.  To connect to the best talent resources in Minnesota, contact us today.

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