Rather than just hearing about bad bosses, what would be more helpful to all is what if anything we could do to avoid not only bad companies, but poor managers within those companies. Obviously networking and knowing someone that works at a company would be ideal, however what if you are not that fortunate. What websites and other resources have you found helpful, will you share them with the rest of us please?
As important would be to avoid a poor manager in a decent company! After all who wants to work for someone who manages to the Least Common Denominator anyway?
Lets face facts, usually we do not know what a company is like until we work there. It is even harder to know what an individual manager is like within that same company. I believe there are many obvious reasons for so many poor managers beyond the most obvious of people wanting to be managers for the wrong reasons (ego or higher pay instead of a desire to actually manage people). I would suggest that a better reason to become a Manager or Director is to help other people realize their goals and dreams in their careers while realizing the goals and objectives of the company. Those should not be opposing goals and objectives.
Perhaps a person became a manager for the right reasons, however the company does not give them enough time to effectively manage. Perhaps it is obvious from the job posting, perhaps not. After all how can someone effectively manage others if too large a percentage of their time is hands on coding, testing, technical, etc... in addition to managing? One thing is for sure, they are not going to pay you two salaries, one for being the manager and a second for coding, so you better make sure they pay good bonuses each and every year or that job's stress just might not be worth it. Unrealistic expectations on the company or managers part would be another reason to avoid a company....again how would one know? What questions should we be asking?
What websites and on line resources have you found to be helpful in your individual job search? (For instance while Monster has not been around as long as Dice it certainly is a good resource. What other websites have the searching capability similar or superior to that of Dice.com? (The advance search allows you to randomly select and deselected specific key words, in addition to company name, job title, city, state, and even the number of miles from a specific zip code?) Perhaps there is a site that just seems to be better for your city, state or area of the country, share it with the rest of us?
If you are in Human Resources for a company, do you monitor your company's employee turnover rate down to each individual manager? If you do what action does your company take when a problem is uncovered with a specific manager?
Does your company train up, coach and work with managers to help them be a better manager? For many that would be a positive sign that your company may be superior to another, how would a job seeker know this? What should a job candidate look for to determine that one company might be better than another? What if any questions in the area of management styles could a candidate ask that would not jeopardize their chances of being considered and hopefully selected?
Per the wikipedia entry above, the cost of employee turnover to for-profit organizations has been estimated to be up to 150% of the employees' remuneration package (Schlesinger and Heskett, 1991). I would suggest that it costs more than 150%!
We constantly hear that it costs a company $X thousands of dollars just to hire an individual, so there should be obvious incentive not just to monitor turnover, but to help the manager to improve and minimize it. What if the manager has reached their individual peter principle ), have you ever helped them move out of management and to a more suitable position for them. An obvious win - win - win, especially since the manager should be happier away from their peter principle and back to a more successful role for them. Is there any way that a person outside the company could possibly know this? Are there any questions that a job candidate could even ask?
...The high performers don't need to be reminded of the lowest common denominator expectations. Insultingly low-bar rules would likely just stifle creativity and lower morale...
...So in reality, rules in high-performance environments are actually just a crutch of a weak manager or company management philosophy...
...The high-performers...they'll be looking for something better faster than you can say...
And if you work at one of these organizations, either decide to live the dream of mediocrity, fire your company, or better yet, try to plant the seed of change. If that doesn't work out, there are always plenty of others out there who are looking for high-achievers. Look for the progressive ones... the ones who judge by achievement rather than attire, by deeds rather than paper diplomas, and respect rather than rules and draconic lifestyle demands.