That's actually not an easy question to answer. There are times when good managers have employees who hate them and bad managers have employees who love them. Bad managers can get results while good managers can have failures. 

If that's possible, you may wonder why it's important to be a good manager. Bad managers will have short-term successes, high levels of employee burnout, and higher turnover. These are all expensive and a bad way to run a company.

A good manager doesn't guarantee success, but good managers are willing to take feedback, make changes, and treat their employees properly.

I received an email from a reader whose manager was impossible to work with. I asked him to describe what made this person a bad manager. The reader sent this list describing how his manager treated employees:

  • Freezes people out (ignoring time-sensitive communications responding to requests)
  • Excludes people from team meetings
  • Gives unclear instructions, followed by rebukes for not delivering 
  • Does not convey expectations
  • Redirects work to others without prior discussion or explanation
  • Assigns peers to manage each other's work
  • Interferes in project execution
  • Refuses to allow team members direct communication with stakeholders, which derails deadlines
  • General hostile speech 

This poor person really hit the bad manager jackpot.

Many managers behave this way and they have good reasons--and bad reasons. They may give unclear instructions because they don't know what they really want and are too afraid to say so. They may not set clear expectations because they assume the requirements are obvious.

While this particular list is a nightmare for the letter writer, it's a great concrete list for managers. It's not about attitudes or full of vague statements about micromanaging. It gives clear problems, all of which you can fix.

If any of these problems sound like something you do, there's time to fix it. If you have a great reason for excluding someone from a team meeting, tell that person. "I didn't invite you because you dominate the conversation and make it impossible to get work done." That gives your employee the ability to correct mistakes.

If you aren't comfortable sharing your reason for excluding someone, or explaining why you're redirecting work, then reconsider why you are doing it. Being a manager means making hard decisions. Being a good manager means taking responsibility for those hard decisions.

Work to correct any of these problems you have, and you'll be a better manager.