By Mike Cieri
Even the best managers will make errors in judgment when managing a staff of people, each with unique personalities, capabilities and needs, and it’s likely that we can all reflect on where we might have handled something with more skill.
Want to brush up on or test your own management skills? Here’s a handy list of ten common mistakes that leaders make in the course of managing talent.
- Not providing Feedback
- Not letting people know how they are doing is like sending someone out on a hike without a compass and map. When you don’t provide feedback you are denying your associates the opportunity to improve.
- Making Snap decisions when responding to an employee’s request or complaint
- If you do not take the time to think through or find out the reason behind the request or complaint, you will not be building trust or engagement.
- Being too “Hands-Off”
- This balancing act is difficult. Many managers do not want to be seen as micromanaging, yet being too hands off fails to build teamwork and maintain direction or discipline.
- Failing to define Goals
- Without knowing where we are heading, it’s hard to know when we get there. Your associates will not be nearly as productive if they do not know what they are working for nor prioritize their work.
- Being too Friendly
- It’s been shown that people work for people not the company. We want to be seen as friendly and approachable. Yet, sometimes we have to make tough decisions about our associates and some people will take advantage of your relationship if you are too friendly. This doesn’t mean you can’t socialize, just set the boundaries clearly!
- Misunderstanding Motivation
- Many managers make the mistake that money is the only motivating factor. This is rarely the case. Most people want to be appreciated/recognized, be a part of something bigger than themselves and/or want a balance between work and life.
- Hiring the Wrong People
- It’s tempting at times when your team is under staffed to just hire a body. If you hire someone who is uncooperative, unproductive and ineffective, you hurt the moral and productivity of the team.
- Not “Walking the Talk”
- As the leader of the team, you are the role model. Your team is watching your actions.
- Not Delegating
- Delegating does take time, organization, and energy up front. If done properly, you will be building the bench strength of your department, building engagement and trust, and taking some of the pressure off of you.
- Misunderstanding Your Role
- As a manager you are no longer an individual contributor. You are responsible for the work efforts and productivity of the team. This means the focus is on the team not you. You may have to use different skills than you used before to accomplish this.
About the Author
Mike Cieri, MSIR, is Vice President of Mardac Consultants and been in the Human Resource Management field for over 20 years. During this time he has held a variety of management positions, including several years on the executive management team of a large corporation as Vice President of Human Resources and Safety, as well as Vice President of Operations.