Seven undeniable reasons why your staff may hate a manager (Part Two)

Tried and tested conversation starters and strategies for being a likeable and empowering manager

Last week we shared a range of examples of what managers may do to make their staff dislike them, disengage or quit. 

If you missed out on last week’s article, you can catch up here > Seven undeniable reasons why your staff may hate a manager (Part One)

We will continue with the remaining three reasons a team may dislike their manager. 

5. Inconsistency and hypocritical behaviour

As a manager, you are leading by way of example — whether you like it or not. What does that mean? If you’re rocking up late, then chances are you’re giving your team unspoken permission to do the same. 

The standard you walk past is the standard you accept, just like the standard you set is the standard that will be modelled. 

Are you telling your staff to behave one way, but then personally go ahead and demonstrate opposing behaviours?

Alongside this, the evil cousin of hypocritical behaviour is… inconsistency. Consistency creates certainty, which creates a sense of safety and security. 

When your actions or behaviours are inconsistent, it creates a sense of ‘walking on eggshells’ or being unsure of what is expected. 

Instead of… 

Blindly telling your team how you expect them to behave in the workplace…


Building consciousness into your actions. What do you expect from your team? Write a list of the traits, attributes and behaviours that make up your idea of a high performing team. 

Then, rigorously self-assess. How would you rate yourself against each trait, attribute and behaviour? Are there areas where you’re expecting one thing, but not actively practicing them yourself?

Another approach is to ask your team outright what they observe from you. Once you have set the expectation, can you ask for feedback on where they think you might need to step up and deliver? 

6. Microaggressions and outright bullying

Criticism, passive aggressive behaviour, microaggressions and blatant bullying is simply not acceptable as a manager. However, failing to address bullying in your team from other team members is also not acceptable. 

As a manager, it is your role to develop and uphold a healthy, happy and safe workplace. Do you have a workplace bully in your team? How are you approaching it? 

Instead of… 

Sweeping issues under the carpet, ignoring complaints or pretending you don’t have a bullying issue…


Addressing things directly. It is not just a ‘nice cultural thing to do’, it is your absolute duty of care and obligation to look after your staff. 

Speak to HR (or us) if you have a bullying issue in your team. Disciplinary action may be required.

7. Playing favourites

You mightn’t be aware of it, but do you play favourites in your team? Do you have a diverse and inclusive team, or are you aware of cliques, segregated groups and silos? 

You may inadvertently invest time and energy in one or two individuals on your team without realising you’re neglecting others, or how this could be perceived by the team as a whole. 

Instead of… 

Focusing only on ‘talented’ individuals and progressing only them on your team through time and resources…


Uplifting the capability of your team as a whole through team-based trainings, group check-ins and evenly distributed one-on-one time. Schedule at least one weekly one-on-one catch up with every team member to have an allocated time to share what’s on their mind, update you on projects and share anything that may need communicating.