The Great Resignation: How Bad Managers are Contributing

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Written by Neha Verma

With the Great Resignation still going on, it’s more crucial than ever for companies to make sure they’re putting capable people in management positions.

According to a recent survey from GoodHire, a Redwood City, CA-based employment screening services business, 82 percent of American workers might potentially quit their job due to a lousy manager during this time. Workers in the healthcare (88 percent), finance and insurance (86 percent), education (83 percent), and hospitality and legal (both 82 percent) industries are the most likely to feel this way.

But have you ever thought, what makes a manager bad?

Terrible managers do not “happen” to exist in businesses. Instead, incompetent managers are tolerated and elevated over time to become the organization’s cultural standard-bearers.

Employees, particularly the good ones, don’t put up with these bad bosses for long. They dash out the door, never to be seen again.

A manager that is pushy and micromanages, as well as a manager who demands them to work outside of working hours, irritates respondents the most. These two responses were by far the most prevalent across the ten job sectors examined.

Nearly six out of ten employees who left their jobs named their boss as the cause for their departure. According to another survey, incompetent managers may be hurting their company’s potential to innovate.

Employees, particularly the good ones, don’t put up with these bad bosses for long. They dash out the door, never to be seen again.

The Micromanager

A familiar face: the technical specialist who has been elevated to manager. They understand their responsibilities, tasks, and how to complete them. They are so skilled at getting things done that they find it difficult to let go.

The lack of autonomy and freedom to work and complete duties in their own way frustrates some on their team, who grind their teeth. Instead, the Micromanager hovers over everyone, breathing down their necks and ensuring that the chores are completed in the manner that they believe (uh, know) is best.

Because the Micromanager is unable to allow others to learn, explore, and grow, they leave as well.

The Always-On

It’s 10:46 p.m., and one of their emails has arrived. Then there was another at 1:30 a.m. Then, against logic, at 6:55 a.m., another. Is this individual mad or a vampire? Whatever the response, they always appear to be online and available to respond to anything within minutes.

They live to work, and work is their life.

Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! Do it, do it, do it! The message from the Always-On boss to people on this manager’s team is that they, too, are expected to develop the same unbalanced work habits. Frustration rises among the team under them.

With the Always-On, this manager’s relentless striving causes all of his or her employees to burn out and leave.


While some of the manager descriptions may appear hilarious, the people who have to work under and alongside them find them to be everything but amusing.

Simply put, if your managers are bad, there isn’t much else you can do to mitigate the damage they cause. Put the right people in the right jobs, and provide the assistance and feedback that those in need of development and maybe a transition require.

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