When Your Managers Have Poor Judgment

September 30, 2016

By: Marlene Cosain

Having managers lead your employees is a great way to distribute and delegate responsibility around the office. Their major job responsibility, quoted by Monster is to “accomplish department objectives by managing staff; planning and evaluating department activities.” Most of the time, managers do a great job of meeting and exceeding their job description, but once in an every blue moon managers can go haywire. With that in mind, how do we (or our HR department) discipline bad managers or managers that have had a case of bad judgment? It seems a bit odd since our managers usually correct and discipline the rest of our staff, but a manger’s behavior can set standards for the office, lower employee morale and lead to more misconduct in the office. Similar to how they handle poorly performing employees, you can use discipline actions along the same lines to enforce solid judgment on their part.

Bring the issue to their attention

Small Business Chron suggests to, “Invite the manager into your office. Start off the conversation by explaining that you're meeting with him to discuss unacceptable behavior. Go through each piece of evidence and explain how he failed to adhere to the company's policies. For example, if three employees claim he berated them in front of customers, explain that there's a zero-tolerance policy for yelling at and berating employees. Tell the manager that when he signed his contract, he agreed to follow the company's rules and policies. Explain that you expect managers and supervisors to hold themselves to a higher level of professionalism than employees.”

Take your employees into consideration

If there is an employee who is constantly pointing at red flags, examine those red flags. Listen to the feedback given from the people who your mangers manage. If you fail to look into it, or give time to the matter, the entire incident can blow out of proportion and hurt you later down the road. It’s just good to have all your fronts covered and your employees to feel cared for.

Document misconduct

Much like the measures your managers take in disciplining your employees, have documentation ready and provide a warning. Let your managers know, that you also manage them, and inappropriate behavior or misconduct is not acceptable. When having this discussion, it helps to have all your points delineated on the paperwork, so they know exactly what was done and on the contrary what is expected. For example, bring to their attention poor decisions that were made, documented absences, failure to complete tasks, or acting inappropriately around the office.

Disciplinary action

The measure you take should always be based on the severity of the issue and weighed with how well of an employee that manger is. AZ Central states, “The disciplinary action you choose should be based upon the severity of the infraction and scaled to the manager's overall competence and personality. A competent manager who makes an error may benefit from a continuing education class, while an incompetent manager might need to be demoted or put on a performance improvement plan. Inform the manager of the disciplinary action, how long the disciplinary action will last and what steps are necessary for her to take to demonstrate improvement.”

After you have talked it over (and possibly taken suspension actions, warnings, etc.) follow-up with your manager to make sure you are both happy and on the same page.

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