“People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.” Being (or hiring) a poor manager can cost your small business more than you think. Read how much bad management really costs.

“People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.” Being (or hiring) a poor manager can cost your small business more than you think. Read how much bad management really costs.

What it Means to be a Bad Boss

Some entrepreneurs have a difficult time delegating tasks to their employees and letting go of the business they worked so hard to build. Your business is like a baby, and it may be hard for you to relinquish control.

This can make you a bad boss and cost you business if you aren’t aware of the problem and how to better manage your employees.

Gone are the days of bosses who give orders and micromanage every aspect of their employees’ work. Today, people want to work for managers who lead by example, inspire them to grow, and enable them to take charge of their own responsibilities.

Creating the Wrong Work Atmosphere

We’ve written before about how important it is to hire the right employees that will be productive and work well with the team, but it is just as important for you or the managers you’ve hired to be responsible for setting the right work atmosphere.

Managers set the tone for the whole team. Even the most dedicated, hard-working employee will feel burned out and unappreciated if management is poor. Your business can lose productivity and revenue if your employees no longer feel motivated to work hard for a boss who they feel doesn’t deserve the loyalty.

High turnover is costly for businesses, in terms of wasted money, time, and reputation –  Glassdoor is the Yelp for job seekers. If a qualified candidate sees a review of your small business saying the managers are bad, they’ll look elsewhere.

Invest in Better Management

Here are a few important characteristics to develop in yourself or look for when hiring a new manager:

  • Being able to be wrong. Employees say it is important to them that a boss can own up to their mistakes. When they see this kind of behavior, they don’t feel safe to take innovative leaps in their work and may learn to hide their own costly mistakes.
  • Express gratitude and share success. It’s easy to criticize someone for their mistakes, but not remembering to acknowledge their success will lower morale and productivity. The same applies to pointing out their errors in front of others more often than publicly praising them.
  • Not micromanaging their work. You hired someone because you think they’ll do their job well, so let them prove you right. Give them some freedom to do their work in a way that makes them the most productive they can be. You don’t need to dictate their schedules down to the minute or demand that they count cash a certain way.
  • Respecting work-life balance. When employees aren’t on the clock, don’t reach out to them with work matters. Your employees need time off to recharge and will be more productive when they come in to work.
  • Listening to problems or new ideas. If they disagree that your new idea will bring in more sales, listen to them! Value their advice and they’ll want to come up with new cost-saving or sales-generating ideas.


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.

Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

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