Can Lousy Managers be Changed?

business (10) There are a lot of lousy managers, everyone has met them, worked with them and worked for them.  They can create havoc in a workplace, particularly in a small business where their impact is profound.   Many businesses have closed due to incompetent managers.  Because of their influence it’s vital for their supervisors to take responsibility and evaluate the situation – can they be turned into good managers?  The answer is yes, maybe and no.

Yes – some lousy managers can be turned into good ones.  Their poor management skills are usually not their fault.  They were never taught how to be effective and are doing the best they can.   They’re eager to learn, motivated to grow and respond to training and mentoring.  They can be good managers, they can be changed.

Maybe – some lousy managers can be turned around.  These managers know that they’re not doing the best they can.  But, they don’t change because they haven’t been told directly and honestly that they’re doing a poor job, subtle hints don’t work.  Nor, have they had to suffer the penalties of being a lousy manger.

Unfortunately, human nature is such that many people give the least amount of effort until they are forced to do otherwise.  The longer they’re allowed to get away with harmful behavior the more they’ll do it.  When appropriately confronted with facts and consequences, they’ll respond and change with direct supervision, training and an action plan.

No – some lousy managers can’t be saved.  They were unsuited to or ambivalent about being a supervisor from the start and never committed to the position.  Or they may have been adequate at one time, but now don’t care.

No matter the reason, no amount of supervision, training or disciplinary action will help them be a good manager.  No one can make them care about themselves, the company or the employees.  They’re either unwilling or unable to change and have to be let go.

Lousy managers will always be around and some will change, others might change and a few won’t change.  It’s up to their supervisors to recognize which type they’re dealing with and take the appropriate action.  After all, it may save the company.