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Nightmare boss or dream leader – how do people really rate your management style?

As the famous saying goes: you can never please all the people all the time.


Although Lincoln made a fair point, that doesn’t mean you should disregard the feelings, views, opinions and welfare of your people - to do so could be a dangerous risk.  Our research has shown that a bad management style can do more than just irritate workers – it can send them searching for a new job.

The IIP leadership horizon survey 2014* suggests that 43% of those who feel they have a bad working relationship with their boss considered looking for a new job – and even if they stayed put, 36% would feel less motivated to do a great job for their organisation.

It’s never been more important for today’s modern leaders to consider refreshing their management style – a move that could be vital in maintaining decent working relationships whilst keeping engagement high.

So are you the dreaded nightmare boss? Hands up if you’ve ever been guilty of…

Disorganisation: Always late for meetings? Forgetting important details? It matters.

Demotivation: Do you communicate negativity and indifference a little too often? Not exactly the best way of inspiring people to deliver great results.

Disinterest in staff career progression: Do you challenge your people to be the best they can be as much as you should? A business can’t flourish without potential being realised

Inadequate reward & recognition schemes: Do you forget to give your people appropriate recognition for their achievements when it really counts? Satisfaction of a job well done isn’t always enough.


According to our survey, these are the most disliked traits that UK managers possess, with 12% employees going as far as to state that they couldn’t name one thing they admired about their boss.  But let’s be fair - for every David Brent there’s also an Ernest Shackleton to be found, with the best bosses thought to be approachable, experienced and trusting in their people’s abilities.

So where do you find yourself? If working relationships are strained and your people seem unmotivated and uninspired, maybe it’s time to leave the nightmare of the hierarchical management approach behind. 

Take this further:

Read more about the IIP leadership horizon survey results on good and bad leadership traits, or download our free guide for leaders to understand how Investors in People can help your transition from nightmare boss to modern leader.

*Survey carried out by Censuswide. 1071 full time employees in the UK were surveyed online between 26 June and 1 July 2014.