A manager’s attitude can make or break a team.
Too many managers out there get so caught up in their daily tasks that they forget that one of their main responsibilities is to, well, manage people.
So, let’s take a look at the four most common mistakes managers make.
1- Failing to set clear goals and expectations
Your employees might know which tasks you want them to accomplish on any given day, but do they understand what is expected of them?
If you wanted your employees to get to a specific location, would you just teach them how to get on a bus without telling them the destination, and then expect them all to get off at the right stop?
Communicating your vision (and of course aligning that vision with your company’s mission and values) will create a sense of clarity for your team members. What targets have you set for your team? Which goals do you expect them to achieve in the next month, three months, six months, year?
As a manager, it is important for you to have a good understanding of your team and set explicit performance goals for each individual team member.
By doing this, you will ensure:
a) Harmonious collaboration amongst team members
(because everyone will know where they are headed)
(because each member will understand his or her role within the team)
c) An increase in productivity
(because everyone will feel positively challenged)
d) A rise in employee motivation
(because your people will feel like they are a part of something bigger).
2- Tendency to put out fires instead of creating lasting solutions
Too many managers spend their days acting like firefighters moving from one crisis to the next, rather than investing their time doing what they are supposed to be doing: administering the team.
Have you set up your team in a way that has suddenly made you the “go-to-guy”?
As a manager, you are responsible for empowering your team and encouraging your people to take ownership.
Do not expect your people to simply complete given tasks and panic the second something goes awry.
Instead, build your team to be a group of subject matter experts, capable of keeping the wheels turning without your constant intervention. Remember, you are meant to steer the ship toward a desired destination, not operate the engines.
3- Lack of employee management
Too many managers fail to understand that managers manage people; different kinds of people, with their own individual needs and concerns.
To manage people effectively, managers must
- Be good listeners
- Provide support and take action to address issues promptly
- Provide constructive feedback to create an opportunity for performance improvement
- Acknowledge employee successes and give recognition
Developing your emotional intelligence is the best way to manage employees effectively. Making time for your team and having their well-being at heart will provide a tremendous return on your investment of time and energy.
4- Neglecting to develop leadership skills
Not all candidates are promoted to a managerial position because they have a natural talent for supervising others. Many are promoted for their loyalty, seniority, or expertise in their field.
Nevertheless, all managers should ensure that they acquire the necessary leadership skills to run a team. Doing so will ensure that your team will reach the predetermined objectives without straying off-course.