SmaBeing a manager is no easy feat and not everyone is cut out for the job. Whether or not you have years of management experience or just starting on your manager journey, you’re bound to make mistakes in the future and have made plenty in the past. Fortunately, there’s always the opportunity to learn from mistakes, grow, develop, and avoid making the same ones again. Some mistakes, however, are much more predictable and happen fairly often in management. Here, we will go over some of the biggest mistakes that managers make and the best ways to avoid them.
Not Giving Sufficient Feedback
Feedback is absolutely critical to successful development. To put it simply, employees cannot grow and develop if they aren’t given direct feedback and don’t know what to improve on. But many managers don’t approach feedback the right way, or even worse, don’t give any feedback at all. If you’re frustrated with an employee but you never properly address the situation with constructive feedback that they can work on, they are never going to get better. This, in turn, will lead to frustrations building up and the development of a negative work environment and poor manager-employee relationships. When giving feedback, it’s also a common mistake for managers to focus on character flaws rather than work-related circumstances that employees can improve. It’s critical when addressing feedback that you do so in private, regularly, and in a positive manner that’s constructive.
When managing, communicating is key. Employees who don’t feel like they have open lines of communication with their manager may feel out of the loop and have difficulty with trusting leadership. Without communication, a company can fall apart very quickly. Small mistakes can spiral out of control if leaders are not properly managing their communication protocols. Moreover, communication should not just be saved for performance reviews or times when you’re giving direct feedback to an employee. Everyone working under a manager, including the manager themself, should feel like communication lines are always open and that everyone is approachable. Employees who don’t feel like they are ever able to approach their manager will have a hard time trusting them and will likely have less workplace satisfaction.
Change Your Coaching Style Depending On Your Employees
Everyone has slightly different management styles, but no matter what your style is, you need to make adjustments depending on the employees that you’re managing. Not every employee reacts to certain management styles the same way. Some like public praise where their manager shouts their achievements from the rooftops in front of other employees and rewards them publicly. Others are embarrassed and humiliated by this and will likely resent their manager for doing so. Some employees respond better to a firm hand, while others will find this intimidating and react defensively or get upset. Yes, it’s ok to have an overall management style, but you need to be able to adapt your specific style to what individual employees will respond to best. Getting the best out of each employee individually will require you to manage them in a way you notice they respond to well.
Over Working and Making Up Slack
This is a very typical thing to happen to new managers, particularly when they suffer from imposter syndrome or struggle to give direct orders. Many times, managers feel like they need to make up slack themselves, but really, all they’re doing is working harder longer hours, and losing respect from team members. Of course, as a manager, you should be working just as hard as your employees, but it doesn’t mean that you need to pick up their slack if they’re not performing. Many new managers struggle to point out to employees that they are unsatisfied with their work efforts, and thus simply end up trying to do the work themselves. This isn’t the right way to go about getting results. Managers need to learn how to address these issues rather than just taking on an extra workload. Managing to avoid mistakes is hard enough as it is, no need to take on employees’ workload.
Learn How to Be a Leader, Not a Boss
One of the most detrimental things management can do is to boss around their employees and rule with an iron fist when really, they should be encouraging them, motivating, and leading them. You might think that you’re able to gain respect by being bossy, demanding, and harsh with employees. But striking fear into their hearts is entirely the wrong approach. Ruling from a place of fear isn’t going to get you anywhere with employees in the long run. The best way to get them to perform to their utmost ability is to inspire them with great leadership skills. Typically, these leadership skills will require you to be a great people person. Don’t worry if you’re not one naturally, it is possible to learn how to be one. Never try and boss employees around and manage them by making them afraid. You’ll only turn your employees against you, and you’ll end up having high turnover rates and difficulty getting the results that you actually want and need.
Becoming a manager for the first time is very difficult, there’s a lot of things you’re going to have to learn along the road and a number of mistakes that you’ll undoubtedly end up making. Similarly, if you’ve been managing for many years, there might be some mistakes that you’ve already made and some habits that you need to outgrow. Either way, there’s always room for improvement and it’s important that you learn from any mistakes that you make so that you don’t repeat history. Remember, if you learn how to manage properly and get the best out of your employees, you’ll gain their loyalty, trust, and you’ll inspire them to work harder. Ultimately, the results of your team will show, and you’ll reap the benefits. Don’t feel embarrassed if you make mistakes and feel like it’s the end of the world. You can always learn and bounce back. In the world of management, mistakes lead to growth, and growth will lead you to become an excellent manager in the long run.