We all know managers make mistakes once and a while (they’re not perfect, you know) but some errors are much bigger and more serious than others. Here is my list of the seven most egregious blunders that managers make:
1. Discounting the Little Things. Perks such as fresh donuts in the kitchen, cards on birthdays or even fancy lotion in the bathroom brand a company’s image into the minds of its employees. Showing employees that a company cares about their well-being sets the tone for how they will treat the business in return.
2. Hogging the Glory. A recent study found that 37% of business workers said their bosses didn’t give credit where credit was due. Rewarding someone for a job well done is a key component of achievement. In order to have employees who persistently want to excel at their jobs, it is important to recognize their continual accomplishments.
3. Embracing Bureaucracy. A certain amount of formal process is required to run any organization successfully, but bogging employees down in a mountain of paperwork anytime they need to make a decision doesn’t help anyone be more productive. A manager should trust employees to make their own decisions. If they weren’t capable, they wouldn’t have been hired in the first place.
4. Ignoring the Obvious. I do think that leaders need to stay positive in order to keep people motivated. However, if optimism comes at the expense of the truth, the company and its employees, I don’t think it’s worth it. If profits are down, turnover is rising and the competition is closing in, it’s better to come clean with rather than trying to play things down. People want to follow leaders that they trust and they can’t trust someone who doesn’t tell them the whole story.
5. Not Listening. Giving employees a real voice not only helps employees feel valued but it also benefits the company’s bottom line. Shutting people out shuts out new ideas as well. Employees need an outlet to express their opinions and ideas. Employees want to see their business succeed, and can be a priceless resource of information and advice.
6. Encouraging Hierarchies. Artificially ranking employees fosters a competitive culture within a team. Some say competition is a way to make people more productive. I feel it does the opposite. Time and energy will be wasted trying to win over a manager’s approval instead of working toward satisfying a customer and building market share.
7. Working Politics Instead of People. A manager can choose to manage up or manage down. Whatever approach they choose will affect how they relate to other employees. By focusing efforts upwards, a manager neglects the very people critical to his/her success. A manager can only be as successful as those (s)he manages.
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