- Poor leadership can quickly lead to a disengaged, unproductive team that reflects poorly on both administrators and workers alike.
- These habits are detrimental because they isolate employees while degrading who they are underneath the mask they wear to work.
- Regardless of which poor leadership quality you’re struggling with, the answer is always doing everything in your power to ensure that you and your team are fighting together rather than against each other.
Considering the difficulties some companies have with employee retention and the clear benefits associated with keeping employees happy, poor management and bad leadership skills are more detrimental than ever.
Poor leadership can quickly lead to a disengaged, unproductive team that reflects poorly on both administrators and workers alike.
Research that points to the efficacy of a happy and healthy team has existed for years, but in 2019, Oxford University published a study that helped further legitimize these claims.
Oxford’s Business School worked with the British multinational telecoms firm BT to determine the most productive workers. The test itself was simple, each employee was sent a weekly email for six months that gauged each individual’s happiness for the week.
The results were precise: happy workers didn’t work more hours, they simply got more done while working. The data showed that happy workers were 13% more productive than their unhappy counterparts.
Team leadership directly impacts employee happiness daily. Let’s explore which poor leadership qualities are the most detrimental to workers’ success, why these qualities cause so much strife in the workplace, and how to fix poor leadership habits.
These poor leadership qualities are detrimental to your team’s success
There are many poor leadership qualities that can lead to decreased productivity, but these are four of the most egregious behaviors:
- Poor communication
- Lack of responsibility
- Cultivating hostile working environments
Communication is one of the most important aspects of an administrator’s job.
If you can’t communicate with your employees, you’ll never be able to adequately express what’s expected of them.
Poor communication doesn’t only mean struggling to hold conversations, it also takes the form of passive-aggressive communication, spreading negativity, or even something as simple as not listening.
Micromanagement is the practice of excessively controlling and scrutinizing one’s employees, which can occur in any profession and creates toxic working environments. Part of being an effective leader is understanding that other people will not always complete tasks the same way that you do.
Micromanaging employees takes valuable time away from key aspects of your operations. Not only does micromanagement make it harder for you to accomplish other tasks, but it also breeds discontent among employees. Excessive control, criticism and an overbearing and distrustful manager can negatively impact job satisfaction, productivity, and the overall well-being of employees.
Lack of responsibility
There is nothing more commendable than a leader willing to accept responsibility.
If someone on your team had a problem and caused you to miss an important date for your superiors, you should be the one taking the blame. Always passing the blame to the next person creates an anxiety-filled environment and ultimately benefits no one.
Cultivating hostile working environments
Although toxic workplaces aren’t currently at the forefront of the public consciousness, they’re still an issue. Almost 20% of American workers are employed in what they would consider toxic workplaces.
If you’re cultivating this kind of working environment through bullying, harassment, or other aggressive styles of authoritarian management, you can’t expect your workers to put forth their best effort.
Why unhappy workers are so ineffective
Although each of these poor leadership qualities is completely different, they each share one important quality that lends itself to how detrimental they are. Each of these leadership qualities creates an “us vs. them” dichotomy.
Poor communication leads employees to feel like their opinions aren’t validated, like their voices aren’t heard, and like no one cares about what they’re doing.
Micromanagement causes workers to feel like their bosses think they can’t do anything right, which ultimately leads to an employee-centered degradation of company values.
A management team that can’t take responsibility results in employees feeling targeted and often like they haven’t been given an adequate chance to succeed.
In a hostile working environment, no one can get anything done because they’re anxious about being reprimanded or too emotional about interpersonal workplace drama.
Despite their differences, each of these habits creates space between management and workers. At the end of the day, workers want to feel valued, heard, and like they’re doing something that matters.
These habits are detrimental because they isolate employees while degrading who they are underneath the mask they wear to work.
Turning poor leadership habits into strengths
If you or your managers have been guilty of these bad habits, hope is not lost.
Fortunately, people are malleable, and even if you’ve previously been exhibiting poor leadership qualities, it’s easy to bounce back. If your communication needs work, consider opening direct lines of communication for your employees. This can be as simple as an extension specifically designed for employee correspondence, what’s important is that your team sees you trying.
If you’re micromanaging your employees, step back and start trusting them. Understand that you’re hurting more than helping and allow your employees to prove to you that they can accomplish their prescribed tasks without constant intervention.
If you struggle to take responsibility for your team, consider taking full responsibility for all problems for a certain period. Your team must understand that you’re willing to accept blame and that you aren’t looking to throw them under the bus.
If you’re cultivating a hostile working environment, you should first determine why you thrive in such an environment. Next, consider actionable changes you can make that will help combat this hostility. This can be as simple as friendly compliments, regular accolades for your team, and generally being as amiable as possible.
Regardless of which poor leadership quality you’re struggling with, the answer is always doing everything in your power to ensure that you and your team are fighting together rather than against each other.
Remember, a frame of reference is important, and although over-simplification never helped anyone, these poor leadership habits can be so easily boiled down because of the specific issues they create.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re exploring — bosses who focus on an “us vs. them” separation between administrators and employees are destined to fail because people aren’t built to thrive in that kind of environment.