Updated: Apr 27
Poorly trained managers are indeed walking lawsuits. They are the root of most, if not all lawsuits. Employers who don’t train their newly hired/promoted managers put their organization at risk for large payout lawsuits. You know the phrase “it’s cheaper to keep her”, well the same applies for managers, but in the sense of “it’s cheaper to train them”.
Giving someone the title of manager and not providing them with the necessary tools and resources required to perform in their role is a setup for failure. A failure for the company and failure for the person in the role. People who are titled "Manager" and placed with the responsibility of leading a group of people, should be sufficiently trained on: A. People Management B. Performance management and C. Policy and Procedure.
THINK ABOUT IT...
There are many employee relations issues that could have been avoided if the manager took the correct steps. For example, an employee was consistently late because of a child care issue. The manager allowed the lateness to continue without addressing the issue, until one day they went to HR requesting termination or even fired the employee directly.
Why would this be a potential lawsuit? Precisely because, the manager had zero documentation to show that steps were taken to remedy the situation. If the termination was in fact approved and/or completed; the employee can and may file a wrongful termination suit. Allegations ranging from leave rights violation, to retaliation, and even gender/sex discrimination is a possibility. You name it, the possibility is there.
Let's take it one step further into medical leaves. How many days was an employee out sick before the manager realized it was a potential FMLA situation? Perhaps they didn't take heed to the situation, and penalizes the employee for being out sick or taking too many sick days.
The manager becomes frustrated or annoyed with the employee being out sick. They continuously call the employee, harassing them about returning to work and even docks their pay when they should really be paying the employee sick time.
Dear CEO, your managers cannot do these things. They cannot terminate people when they feel like it or because they don't like something in particular about them. Poorly trained managers make bad organizational decisions and need corrective action.
Just to clarify, at will employers can terminate employees as they see fit (but it may come at a hefty price). Employers with contract agreements must adhere to the agreements, or it can turn into a grievance nightmare.
It's a known fact, that when employees aren't leaving for a better opportunity (more money, promotion, etc.) or personal matter, they are leaving because of the manager. Employees don't leave employers, they leave managers. If you've never left your employer because of the manager, I'm sure you thought about it.
Dear CEOs please invest in your people, that's the only way your organization wins, if not it'll cost you.