So what happens when a manager is too nice? Alison Green writes in U.S. News that there are four immediate issues from an employee perspective (the italicized comments are mine):
- The boss won't make hard decisions or have hard conversations. That's true. But managers are there to make the hard decisions. That's why their paid more.
- You'll have a slacker working at the next desk over. There are always employees who attempt to do as little as possible. A nice manager avoids confrontation with that employee - which often results in everyone lowering their performance standards.
- You'll receive fuzzy, unclear messages. Managers need to be directive and establish expectations early in the employment cycle. Most importantly, managers must follow up to ensure their expectations are met.
- You won't get useful feedback. Good bosses tell employees how they can grow and develop, which necessarily entails pointing out things they could be doing differently, something too-nice managers often find awkward. Another trait all good managers must have is the ability to help their employees develop. Candid feedback is the only way to accomplish this.