"Problem" managers plague Canadian workplaces

HRPA study reveals that bad bosses are commonplace - and even tolerated - in Canadian organizations

TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - The majority of Canadian HR professionals (73%) believe that managers who bully, speak inappropriately to staff, play favourites or are disrespectful are a significant problem in today's workplace with negative implications on employee engagement, turnover and workplace morale, according to a recent survey by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) and Canadian HR Reporter. However, the evidence shows that most organizations will tolerate at least some managerial misbehaviour as long as they're getting results.

"Problem managers fall into different camps," says Claude Balthazard, HRPA's director of HR excellence. "There are managers who are poorly trained or promoted to management for the wrong reasons, and there are those managers whose values and attitudes are at odds with that of the organization. Management training can prove to be useful for the first group but is not helpful for the 'bad apples' out there."

Signs of a Problem Manager
According to the survey, the most problematic behaviours exhibited by bad managers included:

  • Inappropriate comments (74%),
  • Favouritism (70%),
  • Unwillingness to follow due process (63%),
  • Treating employees with disrespect (62%), and
  • Bullying or intimidation (57%).

One third of respondents (35%) said their organization will tolerate just about anything from a results-achieving problem manager. The survey also pointed to a correlation between the degree to which an organization tolerates misbehaviour and the size of the problem that problem managers pose in an organization, suggesting that those organizations which turn a blind eye, or even reward, managerial misbehaviour will have more such misconduct.

Workplace Impact
Many respondents commented that problem managers have a strong impact on employee engagement, turnover and the bottom line; and that it does not take many bad managers to have serious morale consequences. Others noted that the incidence of problem managers may be underreported because employees are fearful of reprisals, and that issues can go undetected for a long time, until problems "blow up."

"The key is not to point out the negative consequences of problem behaviours, but rather to convince the problem managers that results will be better if they change their ways," says Balthazard.

About the Survey
The survey was conducted in November by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) in partnership with Canadian HR Reporter through an online poll of nearly 800 HR professionals from across Canada. For full survey findings, please go to: www.hrpa.ca/hrthoughtleadership/pages/pulsesurveys.aspx.  Commentary on the report can be viewed at: http://www.hrreporter.com/ArticleView.aspx?l=1&articleid=8783.

About the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA)
The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is Canada's HR thought leader with more than 19,000 members in 28 chapters across Ontario. It connects its membership to an unmatched range of HR information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities and annually hosts the world's second largest HR conference. In Ontario, HRPA issues the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, the national standard for excellence in human resources management and the Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP) designation, reserved for high-impact HR leaders. www.hrpa.ca

SOURCE Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario

For further information:

Amy Davidson or Katie O'Dell
Environics Communications
adavidson@environicspr.com, kodell@environicspr.com
416 920-9000

Duff McCutcheon, Communications Specialist
416 923‐2324 x324

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Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario

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