Save the Workplace: Fire Bad Supervisors and Managers
In the New York Times article referenced in my immediately preceding post, the new research on performance reviews spills over into the subject of proper supervision in the workplace. Most employment lawsuits have a supervisor or manager at their center. That doesn’t always mean that the supervisor has done something wrong, but many times, it means exactly that. Although HR generally shepherds the performance review process, supervisors and managers make the process work — or not. If a performance review is completed by a bad supervisor, it’s much more likely to get you in trouble than serve any useful purpose.
But there’s more to it than that. If a supervisor can’t properly complete a performance evaluation, it’s highly unlikely that she can properly supervise her employees. Part of the new research also demonstrates that supervisor bullies use the performance review as a way of undermining — bullying — their employees. The performance review is intentionally biased or inaccurate. This type of supervisor holds the performance review over the heads of employees duirng the entire review period — and then lowers the boom.
The biggest source of stress on the job is caused by an employee’s immedicate supervisor. Sometimes, that’s necessary. Most of the time, it’s not. A good supervisor isn’t a bully. He doesn’t scream and yell. He doesn’t treat subordinate employees with disrespect. He leads. He coaches. He makes employees successful. He also has the backbone to dismiss an employee who isn’t motivated to do a job effectively by leading, coaching, and respect.
The biggest cause of workplace stress. The biggest cause of discrimination charges. The biggest cause of employment lawsuits. Bad supervisors and managers. And there’s no mystery about what to do. Fire them.