Let’s start with a reminder that NONE of us are perfect. In fact, without embracing our mistakes and leveraging them to accomplish greater goals, we hinder our professional growth by getting ourselves “stuck in the mud”, so to speak, therefore spinning our wheels in place.
In this article, read 5 mistakes made in management and how they incur negative results.
1.False Sense of Respect, Admiration, and/or Appreciation
Assuming the role as manager means we accept the challenging responsibility of leading our team to victory on the front lines, overcoming all obstacles that inevitably will present themselves. Simply put, it does not mean we just worked our way towards a better parking spot or more lucrative compensation package. There is a lot of hard work involved with being a manager, one of which is earning the respect of our team.
Do you give 110% to the boss you don’t respect? I didn’t think so, neither do I. If I don’t believe in the raw talent and ability of my manager to achieve the same results they’re expecting from me, it creates a roadblock. If we don’t earn the respect of our employees we will never tap into their full potential which will ultimately prevent us from excelling together. How does one earn respect? Well, the most valuable thing we can do (in my opinion) demonstrates our ability to execute our own action plans and lead from the front! Stop hiding in the office behind reporting duties and conference calls, quit neglecting to visit the failing branches by favoring the performing ones, and join the team in the trenches when times are rough.
2. Being an “Intimidating Boss”
Unfortunately, almost 3 of every 4 employees in America are open to new opportunities and actively testing the job market. The manager who makes the mistake of being the “intimidating boss” is unaware of this statistic. To the contrary, they actually believe the employees should be grateful to have a job and would do anything to keep it. This manager does not understand the true cost associated with aimless firings and provoking cause to quit.
When we lose an employee, whether voluntary or involuntary, the cost can be as great as 150% of that person’s salary from lost time, lost production, decreased morale, posting job ads, time spent recruiting, time spent pre-screening candidates, time spent interviewing, time spent on-boarding, and time spent training. Wouldn’t it be advantageous for us, as managers, to cultivate a positive work environment that thrives on appreciation & teamwork? Wouldn’t you reconsider finding a new job if your boss wasn’t an @s$ H*!e ?? I know I would…
To change, simply start by acknowledging employees when visiting work-sites, branches, stores, or facilities. Smile and shake hands. Show appreciation for the lifeblood of the company because if their position wasn’t vital to the success of the organization, it wouldn’t exist.
3. Conducting Pointless & Poorly Planned Meetings
I am a HUGE advocate for getting the team together for a productive meeting! I don’t believe there is such a thing as having “too many meetings”; as long as they are properly scheduled, structured, organized, and interactive with its participants. The problem I’ve seen time and time again is a meeting being thrown together for every little bit of information that comes down the pipeline. As managers, it is our job to decipher this information into content relative to our staff then deliver it effectively without wasting time or company resources…Have you ever walked out of a meeting thinking or saying to a coworker “They couldn’t just send that in an email?!”…I definitely have!
So how destructive could have pointless & poorly planned meetings really be? To start, they soon become a mockery which discredits us as managers. This leads to a lack of respect which hurts our ability to reach our key performance objectives as a team.
A POWERFUL MEETING should be structured with an introduction of the content and it’s relativity to the staff, a body of important highlights, and a conclusion to recap the information we want the staff to retain. This meeting should be interactive. We lose interest and engagement when we just bark information out at everybody. We should be sharing opinions about the topic and clearing up any confusion. Remember, most people won’t ask questions at the fear of appearing foolish so keep things light and positive to make everyone comfortable with contributing to the discussion.
Don’t forget, not all information requires a meeting. We should be asking ourselves “Can this be summed up and sent in an email?”. More often than not the answer is “YES!“…It is our duty to follow up on this information with our team to ensure it was properly received. Lastly, we need to plan accordingly for meetings and set the appropriate expectations. All participants should know ahead of time: When, Where, Duration, Relevance, & Topic of Discussion.
4. Passive Aggressive Emails
STOP! When numbers are down, don’t send out a passive aggressive email reminding everyone what is expected of them and that they are not on pace to meet their quota. This accomplishes NOTHING unless the goal is to p!$# people off and look weak. We can’t hide in our office and demand a positive lift in productivity. To simply put it, if our team is failing it’s because WE are failing as managers. Sending an email saying “You’re not doing well, do better” isn’t going to instantly inspire greatness and turn things around. Despite our previous discussion with #3, this requires a meeting.
We need to get together with our team and show them we value their feedback. Ask them why they think the numbers are down and how they believe we could get back on track. Get commitments from the staff as to what they believe they can achieve and how they plan to achieve it.
Something I see too often is when there are multiple metrics involved, the manager tries to fix everything at once. STOP! Focus on one or two metrics at a time with an actual Performance Increase Plan in place. Until we’re back on pace, we will need to roll up our sleeves and be very involved withOUT micromanaging the team. Something I find productive is having a daily morning meeting to outline and discuss goals for the day followed by daily afternoon, closeout meetings to recap our performance. If we meet our goals, we deserve to celebrate in the appropriate fashion. If we miss our goals, we need to take a closer look together at where we fell short and what caused it so we may accommodate accordingly moving forward.
5. Giving Up
Giving up is probably the most common mistake made in management today. Giving up on the staff as a group, giving up on select individuals within the staff, giving up on the goals, giving up on the customer, and giving up on making a difference. We accepted the responsibility of leading our teams when we accepted the job as manager. Managing should be very difficult at times whether you’re the manager of a restaurant or the Vice President of Retail Sales. There are most certainly going to be times when we think “what’s the point?!” when we should be thinking “what could I do differently?!” When we give up on anything related to our responsibilities as leaders, it shows, and unless we are firing on all cylinders; neither will the rest of our team.
Over the past 10 short years of my career, I’ve been guilty of making all 5 of these mistakes and experiencing first hand how destructive and counterproductive they are to the business. I’ve also been on the receiving end of these mistakes, some still to this day, where I can tell you they are NOT PRODUCTIVE! Making these mistakes don’t make us bad managers, choosing not to learn from them does.
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