Mental Health Expert Warns: 8 types of manager you could avoid for a mentally healthy workplace


Bad bosses are responsible for increasing mental health problems in the workplace

A recent study commissioned by global staffing firm Robert Half showed that half of the workers surveyed quit because of a bad boss. The survey results appear to support the theory that people leave managers, not companies.


Peter Diaz, mental health expert and CEO of the Workplace Mental Health Institute, has warned that bad bosses are contributing to a rise in mental health problems in the workplace. We already know that the state of the global economy and the scale of digital disruption are putting increasing pressure on jobs across all industries. This pressure is felt by many people as employees are asked to do more in less time. At a time when employees need continued support in the face of the challenging economic environment, many companies and managers seem to have misunderstood the memo.

Peter Diaz says there are eight types of bad managers you could avoid for a mentally healthy workplace.

1. Rude and abusive managers
This type of manager seems to take pleasure in making others feel less powerful or special. They openly criticize you in front of others and even raise their voice from time to time. Whether they do it on purpose or do it without realizing it, this type of behavior is incredibly destructive. You can let them know how their actions affect you, although this behavior is often tied to narcissistic personalities and those who feel threatened by others. Giving them feedback is unlikely to change their behavior.


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3. Disorganized and last minute managers
This type of manager usually turns their inactivity into your emergency. I think we’ve all worked with someone like that and can attest from personal experience that this type of manager is dangerous and soul-destroying. Helping them to better manage themselves and their tasks is not your job.

4. Awkward and arrogant managers
It’s difficult to work with this kind of manager. Employees often avoid dealing directly with these types of managers because they find them so intimidating. When these managers engage, they are often right and tend to brag about it. This is a matter of personality and style. You can do your research and figure out how to crack your “self-loving” veneer – but it can be a challenging task.

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5. Choose managers and play with favorites
Unfortunately, these types of managers are everywhere. They openly pick favorites and these folks seem to get away with blue assassination, including not completing their jobs. They also tend to be the ones suggested for promotions and other opportunities. Other employees often carry the burden, which burns people out and makes them feel undervalued, underpaid, and exploited. You can try to lavish praise on the boss and sell your soul to get into his good books — but unless you’re a person with a moral compass, that’s usually not the best option.

6. Micromanagers
This type of manager gives you things to do and then tells you how to do it and reviews every aspect of your progress. Most capable employees will only put up with this behavior for a short time before leaving or exploding. The key is to build trust and trust quickly, while also putting in place mechanisms to keep your manager constantly updated. This tends to add so much work to an already stretched load that most people switch to other roles to get away from micromanaging.

7. Too busy and unavailable managers
We’re all busy in 2019 – but the people we should be most available to are our employees. If that means getting managers to work earlier or tying up staff time that can’t be double-booked, then it needs to be done. Managers who are too busy for their employees are not managers, they are simply absent colleagues. Employees must liaise with their manager, they must be able to access their manager to discuss and resolve problems and seek advice on work-related matters.


8. Stressed and overwhelmed managers
Bosses are people too. When distressed and overwhelmed, they can become a risk to their team’s mental health. Self-care is also very important for bosses. Here you can encourage your boss to take care of himself. Do things they enjoy and take regular small breaks throughout the day to increase productivity.

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Bad managers can cause mental health issues in their workplace, and through poor management, they can also exacerbate problems employees may be facing. If we can better equip organizations and managers to understand and manage mental health issues in the workplace, we can save lives—many lives. Importantly, we can also help managers to be better managers.

Peter Diaz and Emi Golding have written and published a book to provide practical guidance to organizations and managers on how to manage mental health in the workplace. Her highly anticipated book is called Mental Wealth: An Essential Guide to Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing. This latest book on mental health in the workplace offers all organizations, leaders and managers essential guidance on mental health in the workplace and building resilient and meaningful cultures and processes that enable organizations to support and appropriately treat people with mental health issues.


It is more important than ever that every business, organization and manager across the country is empowered to deal with mental health issues and understand the warning signs. We all need to stand up and make sure we care about people. The only thing that gets us through hard times is people. We need to help people and support them to cope and be resilient.

The Workplace Mental Health Institute is the leading umbrella organization for research, advice and education related to workplace mental health.

The book is available from a number of different outlets including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Powell’s, Indigo, IndieBound and many other bookstores worldwide and online.

Please visit for more information on this book.


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