Almost all of us have suffered under a bad boss at some point. About 65 percent of American workers are so dissatisfied with their current boss they would prefer a change of management over a pay raise! Think about that for a second. Getting a new manager is more important than money – the thing we all think is foremost on employees' minds.
Bad managers lead to lower productivity, higher turnover and poor employee mental and physical health. In the most extreme cases, bad leadership can lead to physical violence and employee suicides.
5 Ways To Repair Things After Getting Rid Of A Bad Boss
If you know one of your managers is a toxic influence, do something about it sooner rather than later.
Removing a bad manager seems like a happy ending, but it's only the beginning. Cleaning up their mess takes time and effort. Don't assume things will go back to normal and everyone is fine.
Here are five ways you can mend the damage and start building a better workplace.
1. Address Your Culture
Depending on how long it has gone on, you've probably lost great employees. Existing employees might have developed coping mechanisms that are also destructive. Removing a toxin from a river doesn't magically make the water instantly clean.
New interpersonal conflicts may emerge. Existing employees may spread negativity to new staff – or treat them poorly for having not been there.
Address the situation head-on in all instances. Work to create a new environment. Foster employee relationships, increase your communication efforts and above all else, be open and honest.
In extreme cases, you might need to bring in a neutral third party who specializes in workplace conflict resolution to help repair the damage.
2. Rebuild Trust
If the manager was in place for awhile, employees are going to feel especially frustrated. Maybe they believed – right or wrong – there was no point in addressing their concerns and frustrations.
Your HR department needs to allow employees to air grievances without fear of retaliation. People have to believe that their feedback is welcome. Let employees vent, ask questions and discuss moving forward. Remember to be more flexible, communicative and patient during this time.
3. Re-Examine Your Promotion Policies
In some cases, poor managers convince superiors they are incredibly competent. Some are more skilled at getting promoted than actually doing what they were hired for.
Far more often I see managers in over their heads. They may not have been given the training, insight, and support they need to be effective. As they feel their ship sinking they lash out and take people down with them.
Their approach and communication styles put them at odds and they aren't skilled enough to fix it. They may not even know how bad they truly are.
Your job is to figure out what happened, what lessons can be learned and adjust how you promote.
4. Cultivate True Leadership
There’s much more to being a good manager than delegation, ability to read reports and having a good parking spot. People need managers who can inspire and challenge them. Employees want managers to lead by example: a boss who expects a level of commitment they are unwilling to give is not a leader.
Managers and leaders need to be given opportunities to grow throughout their careers. Don't wait until someone has to manage staff to start training them or building up their communication and leadership tendencies. Bring in outside experts on team-building, management, and leadership. Allow all employees to participate.
Lead by example.
5. Reward Initiative
One coping strategy adopted is to keep a low profile and not rock the boat. Employees with poor management probably won't come forward with a creative new idea. They could have also had their success co-opted in the past. A new manager needs to be pro-active – encourage innovation and free-thinking and look for opportunities to publicly give employees credit for their efforts and initiative.
Getting rid of a bad boss can be a great move for your organization. But don't just stop there. Repair the damage and prevent ongoing issues so you can look forward to happier workers, higher productivity, and a brighter future.