Every job role in a business is important, but managers have a very direct impact on others – so it’s important that the people appointed to these positions have a positive effect on the people around them.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Here are some common management mistakes and how they can be fixed.
For many people, nothing is worse than having a manager who is constantly breathing down their neck to make sure they are doing everything correctly.
Not only is this off-putting – making the employee more likely to make a mistake, not less likely – but it restricts creativity, as everything has to be done how the manager wants it.
The fix: A good manager will set expectations for tasks and then allow their staff to complete them in their own way. This helps the employee to feel trusted, as well as giving space for them to experiment with improvements.
After they have completed it, they should then receive constructive, detailed feedback that focuses on how they can do better.
Lack of communication
On the other end of the scale is the manager who puts themselves at a distance from their staff, trusting them to get on with their jobs but never explaining what their goals should be.
Not being sure about what is expected can be very demotivating for an employee, as it is impossible for them to tell whether they are doing a good job or not.
If they are then informed that they have made mistakes, they may become resentful and feel as though they were set up to fail, as they weren’t given the right guidance in the beginning. This will reduce their productivity, as their work will begin to feel pointless.
The fix: All instructions for staff should be clear and detailed, with the manager available to answer any questions if necessary. This is much more likely to lead to successful projects.
Stress and anger
It is extremely important to remain professional in a business environment. This means staying calm and collected at all times, even if you are frustrated.
Sadly, some managers don’t have the capacity to do this, and can create a stressful or even frightening environment for staff by behaving aggressively.
Shouting or scolding employees will make them dread coming in to work and harm their confidence, especially if they aren’t receiving any other feedback. Constant harsh criticism doesn’t pay off in the long run, as eventually employees will leave a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable.
The fix: All managers should respect their staff. They are only human and will make mistakes; but if you wouldn’t like to be shouted at, don’t do it to others. Feedback should be given firmly but courteously, as this is what leads to quicker improvement.
Staff look up to their managers to lead. They don’t expect them to know everything, but they do need direction.
This means that managers must be ready to make decisions about everything, from setting goals for the department to whether to grant annual leave.
It’s a good idea to ask staff for their opinion on some things, but asking them to solve problems that are the manager’s responsibility will make them feel uncertain and undermine their trust – and make them more likely to look elsewhere.
The fix: Have a plan for the team and ideas on how to achieve its goals. Managers shouldn’t be afraid of making the wrong decision: it’s more harmful to make no decision at all or offload it onto others. Regardless of what happens, it’s all experience – and you often learn more from a mistake than a success.
At Toronto School of Management, we can give you the skills to become the right kind of manager. Why not take a look at our businessprograms?