Being a manager or business owner is not easy. There’s a lot of stress that comes with running the show. Even the best managers will make mistakes from time to time. However, there are some steps you can and should take to reduce mistakes and to correct problems when they do arise.
By paying attention to your management style, you will create a better work environment. Your company will also enjoy better results and outcomes. Let’s go over five of the most common management mistakes, and what you can do to avoid or correct them.
1. Lack of a Defined Vision and Goals
Having both a high-minded vision and concrete, achievable goals is important. Some companies and managers make the mistake of not outlining their vision, and not laying out goals. Big mistake. Both are necessary for guiding the efforts of your team.
Define a vision, and dig deeper than “make money.”
Let’s say you run a restaurant. You should aim to provide great food and a wonderful customer experience. Your facilities should always be kept clean, and you should strive to use the best and freshest ingredients. So take all of these components and polish it into a nice vision statement.
Then, put down realistic, achievable goals. Sometimes, managers make the mistake of setting unrealistic goals. Problem is, once employees realize they can’t or won’t reach those goals, they stop paying attention to them. On the other hand, if the goal is achievable, they will work hard to achieve it.
2. Shutting the Door on Feedback & Ideas
As a manager, you should strive to have an “open door.” Don’t hide in your office, and don’t close yourself off to feedback.
You should have an open door policy. This means a lot more than keeping your office door physically open. It means letting your employees and coworkers know that you are open for business.
Many employees will have ideas. Some of them will be great, others might need some work, and still others might not be feasible. It’s important that you don’t close yourself to these ideas. As “the boss” you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. Instead, your primary job is to bring out the best of everyone on your team and to utilize them properly.
Let employees know that they can provide appropriate feedback as well. Is something not working? Your employees should feel free to raise issues with you. If not, you won’t find out about problems until they become a big deal.
3. Providing Your Employees With Feedback
When it comes time for you to provide feedback, make sure you’re going about it in the right way. Feedback is essential for employees. They need to know what they are doing right, and what they are doing wrong. When you have to correct employees, try to do so in a positive manner.
Don’t bludgeon people and don’t be mean or vindictive. If you are angry about an issue, go grab a cup of coffee and take a deep breath. Then, think about it from the employee’s perspective. What happened? Is there a logical explanation for a short-coming? Perhaps a miscommunication?
You can’t always avoid negativity, but you should strive to be as upbeat and positive as possible. Make sure you provide compliments when workers do something well. Consider creating awards and prizes as well. Don’t just criticize employees either. Sit down and talk with them. Offer them solutions as well, not just criticisms.
4. No Trust & Micromanaging
It can be hard to trust someone. Especially at first. Will they really get the work done? Will they actually meet your expectations?
If you want to be a good manager, however, you are going to have to learn to trust and delegate. There’s no getting around it. You don’t have to trust every employee with your life, but you do need to learn their capabilities and delegate as much as you reasonably can.
It’s tempting to breathe over an employee’s shoulder. However, they won’t learn and they won’t get as much done if you don’t give them some freedom to figure out things on their own. Let them stumble from time to time. Failures and setbacks can be great learning experiences.
5. Lack of Employee Recognition
Want your employees to work hard? What boss doesn’t? Make sure you recognize your employees when they do so.
Even a simple, “I appreciate you, great work on that project” can go a long way. Rewards and awards for work well-done are also great ideas. “Employee of the month”, a $100 gift certificate for your top performer last quarter, these gestures can go a long way.
You don’t have to be effusive with praise, employees might start taking it for granted. You don’t have to reward an employee every time they do a good job either. However, a well-placed compliment can boost morale and let employees know that they are heading in the right direction.
When it comes to determining pay, make sure you are paying them properly. If a person on your sales team is selling a million dollars worth of products every year while everyone else is selling only $100,000, that above-and-beyond employee deserves a reward. If not, they might take their talents elsewhere.
Need employee recognition ideas? Check out our 20 Employee Appreciation Ideas Your Team Will Love
Just make sure you’re being fair with your employees. Don’t steal their ideas, don’t cut corners in regards to pay and benefits, don’t overlook a job done exceptionally well. Do pay them what they deserve and do treat them well. If you do so, you’ll have a team that works hard.
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