Whether you were recently promoted to your first management position or have been holding a supervisory role for years, managing a team can be difficult. While there needs to be an overall congruity within an organization, no two employees are exactly alike. They each have their own personalities, motivators and working styles. It’s the job of a manager to recognize the differences between these individuals and to understand the best way to oversee the group.
Managers at all levels are guilty of inadvertently mismanaging employees. After all, managers can not be expected to completely change their personality or work style to accommodate all of their subordinates’ work preferences. The key is to be aware of common problems, to recognize reoccurring issues within their team, and to learn from their mistakes.
3 Common Mistakes Made by Management
Managers need to be aware of the impact you have on their team. Subordinates look to their leaders for guidance, support and understanding. Employee performance and job satisfaction are often linked to the relationship individuals have with their supervisors. A poorly performing individual or group could in turn, reflect poorly on the manager. With that in mind, avoid making these three mistakes that frequently lead to frustrations, missed expectations, and discord within an office:
1. Failing to Communicate
A lack of communication and miscommuncation can cause a variety of problems within a team. As a manager, keep the lines of communication open to ensure transparency and to minimize misunderstandings. It will not only build trust with subordinates, but also increase the effectiveness of their work.
For example, if your team has been assigned a project it is important to provide them with sufficient background and clear expectations. As appropriate, involve them in the planning process or spend time reviewing the plan with them to establish a complete understanding. Clarify any questions or concerns and ensure that the group has the knowledge and tools required to be successful. Provide objectives and set checkpoints and/or periodically request status updates. This will keep you informed of your teams’ progress, without hovering over them, and provides an overall focus. It also gives the group opportunities to ask questions or express concerns.
Your door doesn’t always have to be open and you don’t need to drop everything with each knock on the door, but make sure that your employees are comfortable coming to you. This communication might take more effort upfront and might require chunks of time that you would prefer to spend on your own tasks, but it will ensure that your team is on track and that they complete the project on time and to specifications – without rework.
2. Trying to Motivate Everyone the Same Way
Confused as to why your motivational techniques are not working on everyone? It’s probably because people are inspired in different ways. What motivates one person won’t necessary work for another. Look to each team member’s strengths to find the best ways to encourage them to reach their potential. Note: the same could be said about what deflates the motivations of your subordinates. Talk to them and watch their behavior. If you notice a trend, apply this knowledge to your management style to avoid lapses in productivity.
3. Micromanaging Every Task
Your employees are a talented group of people. Give them the respect they deserve by providing them with the freedom to complete tasks own their own. Micromanaging every last detail doesn’t allow your employees to develop effectively. Additionally, if it appears as though you don’t trust or believe in them, it could lead to resentment and could deteriorate their self confidence (and possibly creating a self-fulfilled prophecy).
Relinquish some of your control. Be open to change and step outside your comfort zone to allow your subordinates to take charge of their own work. If this is difficult, start small and work up to larger tasks and projects. Allow them to work autonomously while providing oversight. It will allow you to allocate your time more effectively and give your team space to grow.
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