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Favouritism, micromanaging and poor instructions – the errors managers continue to make

24 May 2019 #Employment

New research shows that nearly 50% of employees have at some point resigned as a direct consequence of their poor working relationship with their boss.

Process management firm Process Bliss undertook the research, conducting an online survey within the UK of small to medium sized businesses. Of the 1000 employees that took part 60% believed that the business would work better if their manager didn’t interfere and 40% believed that productivity was lost or stagnated when supervisors interfered. The results showcase the impact of poor leadership in UK SMEs and could be used to great effect by employers as it also highlighted the key areas where employees felt that their supervisors were mismanaging or misbehaving.

Overall, UK SME managers were given an overall rating of 6.7 out of 10, suggesting there is room for improvement. Alister Esam, CEO of Process Bliss, comments “I would encourage any SME leader to take the role of ‘boss’ as seriously as possible – speak to peers, network and take professional advice where possible”. This is apt advice especially when the main criticisms of leaders involved delegatory issues or interference. Some of the key findings were as follows:

  • 25% of employees believed that it was not clear when they were being asked to complete a task;
  • 27% of employees believed their superiors took credit for the work of others;
  • 27.5% of employees believed their superiors demonstrated clear and obvious favouritism;
  • 27% of employees felt micro managed; and
  • 25% of employees felt they were ignored by their superiors and/or weren’t acknowledged for doing a good job.

There was also a stark contrast between the approaches, or rather demonstrations of poor leadership, by male and female superiors. Male managers were most criticised for their tendencies to micromanage, delegate, take credit or give poor instructions, whereas their female counterparts were cited as obviously bias to particular employees and far too concerned with striking up a friendship with employees rather than a manager/managee relationship.

50% of those surveyed did acknowledge that they found their boss inspiring. This could of course be higher and our Forbury People Consultants can provide specific leadership coaching and development skills to your teams and managers. Good leadership does not just happen overnight.  The skills needed to tackle issues ranging from everyday management to multifaceted high-pressure situations have to be acquired and practised. This takes time but the benefits can be exponential and help increase employee retainment.

Find out more at our “Senior Leadership Coaching and Development” page or contact us here.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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Jacob Montague

Jacob Montague

T: 0118 960 4613
M: 0790 9964 585


Employment team
+44 (0)118 958 5321