Most of your time is spent focusing on improving your business. This requires eliminating mistakes and weaknesses of your staff.
Now it’s time to honestly answer a question. When was the last time you looked at yourself for mistakes and weaknesses?
To help you get started here is a list of the most common mistakes managers makes. See if any of these apply to you.
- Putting policies ahead of people.
The smaller the organization, the larger the mistake this is. Policies are made to be followed, within reason. Some flexibility with employees, particularly in a small company, is important. An even bigger mistake is standing behind policies at the expense of losing loyal customers. Weigh the significance of standing behind your policy in each situation. If it is a matter of physical safety or security, policies must be upheld. However, in many other instances, there are reasonable solutions that will not alienate the customer or create a strained relationship with your employee(s).
- Lack of communication.
In any industry, at any level, communication is the key to being a successful manager. Employees need to know what is expected of them and when specific projects or tasks need to be completed. Communication needs to be clear, and any questions that arise need to be answered.
- Failing to hear what your employees have to say.
Managers make the mistake of listening but not always hearing what their employees are saying. To manage effectively, you need to understand the needs and concerns of your employees.
- Not acknowledging that you do not have all the answers.
A good manager does not make the mistake of trying to solve every problem. Seeking help from individuals with expertise in specific areas is a sign of strength, not weakness. In addition, a good manager must understand that his or her way is not the only way to do the job.
- The glass is always half empty.
Managers who continually focus on the negatives, without recognizing positive achievements or employee accomplishments, end up with employees who are not motivated and often have one foot out the door looking for a more positive work environment.
- Not accepting responsibility.
A common mistake made by managers is to either delegate blame or simply not accept responsibility for that which happens under their guidance. Eventually, avoiding responsibility will catch up with a manager and usually not bode well for his or her future. Being in charge means taking responsibility for whatever happens.
Once a manager has obvious favorites, he or she loses credibility and the respect of the rest of the team.
- Just do it.
The Nike slogan does not work when employees are trying to gain an understanding of the process or project. Rather than expecting your team to simply work blindly on tasks they do not understand, a good manager takes the time to explain what the project is all about and how the team’s work is incorporated into the plan. Remember, the more the team is invested in a project, the better the results will be.
- Too much technology.
New breeds of managers are more tech-savvy than they are comfortable handling and managing people. Embracing technology is a key to success in the modern office environment, but not at the risk of embracing people skills. Do not hide behind e-mails and other technology.
- Never change.
In a rapidly changing business environment, not being open to change can be a major mistake. While you may stick to tried-and-true methods in some areas, you should consider and weigh the value of change in others. Above all, be flexible.