Are you a bad manager? Read this

Do your employees hate you? Stop bossing people around and start marketing to their strengths.

The idea of being a manager can go right to the ego of a supervisor. Many try to manage with authority and iron-willed demands alone. Working with high employee turnover or disengaged overpaid employees becomes the norm under this kind of manager. Do you get eye rolls when you give out new tasks? It might be time to switch up your management style.

Shocker. People don’t like to be bossed around. Confident employees with the know-how and value definitely are not fans of being ordered around. Employees know that their skills and experience are valued by the company. If you’re hiring qualified employees that align with your brand, there should be no reason to boss them around like Meryl Streep to poor Anne Hathaway. This does damage to morale and can even create an employee vs management culture. This builds teamwork, but the team is rallying against you. Not my preferred flavor of team building. Now, what if we forget we’re managing and think about this whole situation from a marketing perspective.

Most business owners are marketers first and managers later. The best managers apply their marketing skills to their workforce. What do I mean by that? As a supervisor, manager, business owner, your end goal is a certain result. For most of us, that’s profit, growth, sales quotas, lead generation, top-of-the-line service, whatever it may be. While our employees have agreed to help us meet our goals. Every employee also has personal goals in and out of the workplace.

When starting a new marketing campaign one of the first steps is to identify the target client, so we can learn about the target client. Same thing with employees. Take the time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of your staff. Find out who they work well with and which projects they enjoy taking on. Instead of ordering people around with a list of demands, market your needs to their strengths. All of your employees have strengths and skills that are helpful to your business. Great managers learn their employee’s strengths and career goals and market to those skills. They assign projects to people who are going to excel at them instead of;

“Someone’s gotta do it, might as well be you”

to build the confidence of employees new and old. Employees are far more likely to go above and beyond on a task they are engaged in. When confidence is at a high employees are willing to accept more challenging projects. The success you can facilitate as an efficient supervisor gives your employees the confidence to tackle projects they would have not been able to start in the past.

Another aspect of marketing you can apply to employee management is your pitch. If you have a task that nobody is going to like, pitch it better. Instead of leaving it with no explanation and walking away, explain how it’s going to help the company and why the task needs to get done. No potential client or customer is going to buy anything without an explanation. Great managers know that effectively explaining tasks to employees is an excellent way to build trust and teamwork with your staff. The best managers have your employees jumping at new tasks before you have to explain them.

If you got a pitch that read “Here I am, please enter your credit card number” you’d be skeptical, there wasn’t even any effort in the scam. Your employees are skeptical when they get a job with no context nor explanation. When employees understand the purpose of their work they work harder. Yes they can figure it out, but there are good managers around the world who are willing to put time into their employees. If you’re not one of them your best employees will find one.

Provide the “Why?”. The motive matters.

In today’s business world the motive of a company matters from brand down to the individual. Consumers care more now than ever about business practices large and small. These motives matter to your employees too. There are thousands of employers out there willing to take advantage of good labor. Providing the “Why?”, the reason the job or change benefits the company or community, builds employee trust. Great managers make changes and design infrastructure with purpose and intent. Many managers change and design infrastructure to make their own job easier. The latter manager introduces changes with little explanation or cause, and answers questions with orders. What is the difference here? Great managers are marketing company needs to their employees’ needs. Good employees are engaged in their careers and are looking to make progress and improve their skills. Present each new challenge as a way to improve employee skills. Good supervisors care about results. The best results are gained from driven growth-seeking employees. Driven employees are not motivated by busywork. Great managers pitch busy work as a career-building opportunity, and it sells.

We’re not just smooth-talking our employees here. If we’re running a successful business and hiring the right people, our employees’ goals should align with the company. If you know an employee is most likely only there as a stepping stone job, don’t use incentives with job promotions years down the line. If they’re a motivated employee looking to use experience at your business to leverage a position elsewhere, market to that. This employee isn’t interested in long-term status with your company, but they are more than likely looking for resume boosters. Give this type of employee the harder, more complicated jobs with the big name value. Mention how certain things look good on a resume. This is beneficial to both parties. The employee gets an extraordinary amount of useful experience to put on their resume and the business owner gets a driven, motivated employee looking for challenging tasks.

Every employee requires a different marketing style. The switch in mindset from managing your employees to marketing to your employees does wonders for the workplace environment. Instead of thinking “How can I get these employees to do this job.” try “What will make these employees want to do this job?” Take away the authoritarian mindset and try on something more savvy. Modern business isn’t about taking money hand over fist. The best supervisors think smarter than their competitors to create systems that benefit both employees and management. In today’s day and age bullying of subordinates has long been out of style. Jobs are a dime a dozen, your job as a supervisor is to show your employees what they can achieve in their position. Set goals based on individual desires and market to your workforce’s needs. It’s definitely more time-consuming than barking orders, but everyone from your customers to upper management will thank you for the culture you’ve created. Marketing is a growth strategy. Our employees should have a growth mindset.

Marketing is about growth. Business is about growth. Life is about growth.

If you’re doing things the same way every day with no improvement you’re either the most efficient company in the world or you’re stuck in a rut. Since you’re reading this blog on bad managers, there’s probably some efficiency to be desired. The main goal of (good) marketing is growth. Whether in sales, visibility, community engagement, marketing aims to expand ideas and businesses. These same principles should be used to manage your staff. You should focus on creating growth and expanding on employee ideas. It’s not a bad thing to have employees that are more talented than you are. In fact, it will happen often if your branding is strong and you’re hiring passionate employees. Bad managers hold their employees back for fear of being overshadowed. Great managers reward employees and push them to reach their potential. Here’s a little secret that these bad managers overlook. If you manage your talented employees effectively they are happily doing all the work, and you are merely an organizer and a guide. A talented employee is always an asset to the company if you know how to manage (or market to) them, they are only a threat to insecure leadership.




Creative individual hailing from the frigid northeast. Lover of music, food, and inspiring conversations.

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Cullen Scott

Cullen Scott

Creative individual hailing from the frigid northeast. Lover of music, food, and inspiring conversations.

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