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  • Writer's pictureCarole Stizza

What do Bad Managers, Employees, and Puppies Have in Common?

Updated: May 31, 2021

Getting a puppy is exciting! The giggles, the snuggles, the learning for both the owner and the growing pup. But it’s not all peachy. There are also downsides: potty training, chewing up your favorite shoes, learning how to walk on a leash without tugging, learning the new house rules. These obstacles can be overcome with positive reinforcement, treats, and learning to understand your new best friend.

The adult equivalent to getting a new puppy is starting a new job.


A new relationship begins when a new position is accepted. Each unique position offers exponential opportunities to use existing strengths and skills while also learning new knowledge. Employees report being happiest in a new role when their managers have daily interactions with them to communicate the new requirements, manage performance expectations and results, treat them as a whole person showing interest in both the professional and personal aspects of their lives, and encourage their strengths.

Daily interaction, positive communication, clear direction, and understanding strengths is critical to a lasting, trusting relationship between manager, organization, and employee. Ironically, managers who have been described as ‘bad’ managers want the exact same thing from their upper managerial supervisors.

Without it, they are left to imagine what should be done as a manager. As a result many forget to manage like a human, as if fulfilling a managerial role requires them to become someone else.

THE IMPACT OF A BAD MANAGER RELATIONSHIP Statistics make it clear that that mindset does not bode well for employee engagement, retention, or organization profitability.

  • Less than 1/3 of employees report being engaged at work (meaning they care, are involved, and want to stay with that organization).

  • 1 out of every 2 employees have reported leaving a job due to poor management.

  • Only 27-37% of employees report receiving daily communication from their manager.

  • Only 12-13% receive positive performance management from their manager.

  • Even though 67% of employees would prefer their managers support working within their strengths, only 25% of employees report that their managers concentrate on building strengths rather than on improving weaknesses.

HOW TO BUILD A GOOD MANAGERIAL RELATIONSHIP Managers, like new employees and new puppies, must be motivated to build genuine relationships through regular communication.

That looks like: ensuring employees have clear directions and are set up to succeed in their jobs, investing in noticing, managing, and encouraging employee performance, and supporting employees as they build and work within their strengths rather than pummeling them over weaknesses.

If you are a new manager or employee (or even a new pet owner!) it’s critical that you know what your innate strengths are in order to be your best self and succeed in your job. Thankfully, there are many resources to help you discover your strengths and utilize them within your managerial position.

To read Gallup’s research, click here

Discover Your Talents with Strength Strategy!

The best managers get to know themselves and their team. You lead a team to success by understanding your team’s capabilities, and by people in positions that play to their strengths while partnering them with people who will overcome their weaknesses. Discover your strengths, and the strengths or your team, with our Strength Strategy course!

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