Managers hold many of the keys to workplacewellbeing - yet despite this important part of their role, so many are ill-prepared for managing teams and many do not themselves have the support they need. 
In this episode of the Verve Healthcare Unlocking Workplace Wellbeing podcast, host Steven Pink and guest Sue Hewitt, founder of Develomenta, discuss the warning signs that HR managers see if a manage is struggling. 
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We use the shorthand 'bad boss' but that's probably not the right term - it's perhaps better to say 'inexperienced manager' or 'unsupported manager' or even 'ill-prepared manager'. However we frame it, a manager whose actions are affecting wellbeing can lead to all sorts of business and individual pressures. 
In this episode, Sue describes the manager's crucial role in shaping the overall environment wellbeing of the team. It's important to recognise the signs of a 'bad boss' and understand the potential impact it can have on the team and the organisation as a whole. 
Sue says one of the key indicators is the presence of a negative work atmosphere. This can manifest in high turnover rates, increased sick leave, and overworked employees due to fear of the manager's response. Additionally, a lack of engagement and reluctance to interact with the team can be observed, signaling an unhealthy work environment. 
The incidence of seeking additional support, particularly related to mental health issues, may also increase in teams led by these managers. This points to the detrimental impact on the wellbeing of employees and the need for intervention and support from HR and leadership. 
Sometimes, even though they may not admit it to themselves, a manager can be acutely aware that they are struggling. They may themselves also feel anxious or dreading work, knowing that they are struggling to cope. Bravado, denial or not wanting to admit they are struggling may mean they do not seek help from HR or their own manager or want to admit to their teams that they do not know an answer. 
Sue outlines that there are things that a manager can ask themselves. As a leader, it's essential to self-assess and ask meaningful questions to gauge one's own effectiveness. Questions such as "Am I micromanaging?" or "When did I last catch somebody doing something right?" can prompt reflection and self-awareness, leading to positive changes in managerial behaviours. 
Moreover, fostering open communication and creating a culture where team members feel comfortable providing feedback is vital. Asking the team for input on what they need to be a high-performing team and addressing any concerns or areas that need improvement can help nurture a collaborative and supportive work environment. 
Recognising the signs and taking proactive steps to address behaviours is essential for promoting a healthy and productive workplace. By fostering open communication, self-assessment, and a supportive culture, managers can work towards creating a positive and inclusive work environment that benefits both the team and the organisation as a whole. 
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