Panicking bosses harm firms: study

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Stressed womanManagers who panic, pass on stress to their staff and tell employees what to do rather than consult are hitting the performance of their companies, according to a new report.

A study identified the worst attributes of bad managers, alongside the more obvious David Brent-style behaviour of inappropriate humour.


A survey of 500 employees and 120 managers found that bosses who were calm under pressure, talked to their staff and discussed their careers, encouraged employee engagement and lower levels of stress and absence.

Ben Willmott, of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, which conducted the study, said: "Most people will at some time in their working lives have been managed by a David Brent whose use of inappropriate humour and favouritism highlights a lack of self-awareness and inability to manage people.

"However, our research shows that, arguably, it is the mediocre managers, who too often fly under the radar in organisations, that are even more damaging to staff engagement over time and often inadvertently cause stress.

"Our research shows that managers who don't find time to talk individually to their employees, who pass on stress, who panic about deadlines and fail to consult and provide advice erode motivation and undermine employee health and wellbeing."