The 5 Irritating Traits of Really Annoying Managers


We've all had one horrible manager (or even several). You come to work to do your very best; you love your job; you love the company; you love your customers and you even love most of your co-workers.

But your manager! Boy he/she drives you nutty.

There is a thought that people don’t leave organisations, they actually leave their manager, which is a shame because the cost of losing a key worker can be immense.

In my experience as an ex HR Manager and long term HR consultant, there are 5 key reasons that bright people take their energy and passion elsewhere:

  1. They get no feedback, encouragement or acknowledgement. Everyone needs a ‘warm fuzzy’ now and again for a job well done.
  2. Their managers steal their ideas. This is a classic. How many times have you offered an idea and had it turned down only to hear a few days later that your manager has presented your idea to senior management and been seen as a hero?
  3. There is no opportunity for growth or advancement. Sadly organisations employ bright people and then expect them to stay in the same job year in and year out. Most people want to grow. There is nothing worse in any job than boredom. Doing the same job year in and year out will drive people insane.
  4. Their manager plays favourites. This is such a subtle one that it’s hard to realise sometimes what is happening. But in time, it shows. Some people in the team get better treatment; get more pay increases; get more manager ‘air time’. And that sucks. It is a huge demotivator for the other team members.
  5. The manager doesn’t back up the team. When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, people make mistakes – it’s a poor manager who turns on his/her team.

If you are a manager reading this, how did you rate on the points above. Be brutally honest with yourself. And the signs of the above WILL be showing. Do you have high turnover in your department? Do you have high absenteeism? These are classic signs that your people do not like you!

And if you think – so what – I don’t actually care whether or not they like me, then look at the  ‘costs’ because sooner or later YOUR manager may care!


  • For entry-level employees, it costs 30% - 50% of their annual salary to replace them.
  • For mid-level employees, it costs upwards of 150% of their annual salary to replace them.
  • For high-level or highly specialized employees, you're looking at 400% of their annual salary.

This info from an article by Karolyn Borysenko. 

The good news for your employees (also from Karolyn’s article) is that if employees leave a company, they can look forward to a 10%-20% increase in salary. In extreme cases, they may even see as much as a 50% increase.

So poor managers may have been able to hold onto their staff during the dark days of the GFC, but now the GFC is almost over, watch those good people seek out pastures new.


Ann Andrews Dip Bus (Pmer), CSP

MD The Corporate Toolbox


Ann Andrews CSP specialises in working with high performing teams and showing managers how to deal with poor performance.

You may also like:

Filed under HR Management. Posted by The Corporate Toolbox on