How to Recognize and Let Go of Toxic Managers

The chaos toxic managers wreak is often given a pass by upper management because they provide immediate results: Toxic management behavior is often driven by short-term goals without concern about long-term impacts.

Empowering a toxic management culture is very short-sighted, as toxic managers can seriously and permanently damage companies by affecting employees and productivity in subtle but severe ways. Most notably, toxic managers are harmful to a company’s culture. They can devastate morale, increase turnover, discourage cooperation, decrease information sharing, adversely affect workers’ mental health and raise absenteeism.

Despite all these negative impacts, getting rid of a toxic manager is difficult. Removing a toxic worker is one thing but getting rid of a loyal supervisor whoproduces short-term results is another thing altogether.

How To Recognize A Toxic Manager

Most toxic managers are unaware that they even have an issue. Most think how they manage employees and what they are doing is right for the business.

However, bad supervisors can cause permanent damage to your company by hampering worker performance and creating unnecessary stress. The first step in eliminating toxic management in your company is discerning you have an issue in the first place.

Indications of toxic behavior you should look out for include bad coaching, micromanaging, lack of compassion for employees, not supporting employee development, taking too much credit for successes, blaming others for errors they themselves make, never acknowledging mistakes, ridiculing other people, not hearing ideas and gossiping about people behind their back.

How A Toxic Manager Affects Employees

Working under a toxic supervisor is incredibly stressful. It can be demeaning, disturbing and soul-destroying for staff members who feel they have no support and even harassed. A bad attitude can also be infectious: Toxicity begets toxicity.

Workers working in a toxic workplace won’t be doing their best. A toxic manager can demoralize an entire team, making them uninterested in their jobs. This all has an enormous impact on productivity, team communication and the creation of new strategies. A bad supervisor ultimately has a significant negative affect on workers’ mental health.

How To Weed Out Toxicity

Regardless of how faithful someone has been to your company, if their conduct is toxic it must be handled. Disregard the problem and you’ll suffer the repercussions of productivity losses and high turnover.

Start to record their behavior. Once you have enough documentation to make a solid case, the next step is to confront the person. This must be done in a calm and non-aggressive manner. Suggest ways they could change and support them in making any modifications.

Other proactive solutions for handling toxic behavior include bringing in outside coaches to improve supervisors’ behavior, offering conflict-resolution training to staff, adjusting grievance policies so staff feel comfortable bringing complaints and offering company-wide awareness training on toxic behavior.

At LTI, we work with company leaders to address all kinds of human resource challenges. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your organization.