Managers Beware

Many managers make mistakes, it is true, and many do not make changes until it has affected their entire staff and ultimately the success, or loss of success, in their department or division. Some of these mistakes are borne of personality or ego, while others come from a lack of experience, understanding, or proper training. No matter the reason, their mistakes not only affect their own performance, but can and will trickle down to the performances of their employees as well. The longer this goes unnoticed or is not dealt with, the harder it becomes to fix, and the longer it takes to recover.

It is not uncommon for an individual, newly promoted to management, to allow their new position and added power to go to their head. As a result, they can act in ways that damper morale and suffocate motivation. Such behaviors include insensitivity to their staff and being abrasive, bullying, or intimidating. This is when new managers become self validating and are bossy and insistent, and forget to be human and courteous, telling rather than asking. They can also come across as cold, aloof, and arrogant, acting as if they are much better and less expendable than those who work for them. This can create a hostile work environment, and even the best employees who take pride in their work can be pushed to a point of just not caring, thus not doing their best work.

Sometimes being bossy is not the problem, but quite the opposite; they don’t give any responsibilities to their staff at all, rather try to do it all themselves. In their inability to delegate, that can give the impression that they do not trust those who have regularly performed many of these tasks in the past. This lack of trust can cause employees to feel offended and can also leave them feeling like their job is threatened if they are not expected or given the opportunity to contribute. The less the employees do in their position, the less they feel needed or appreciated, and the less they want to be there at all. Ultimately, this can cause staff members to seek employment elsewhere, thus adding to the manager’s load of having to find and replace employees as they quit their jobs. Considering this could have been prevented, this unnecessary responsibility is a wasted opportunity cost in time and money.

If the manager is not overly bossy, self-centered, or unable to delegate, they can also make the mistake of being over dependent. This is where the manager delegates too much to their employees, and counts on them to do everything, allowing the employees to keep them looking good to higher management. They can accomplish this by being nice and extremely appreciative, which may work for a while, but eventually it can cause a great many to burn out. Most will figure out that all the kind words of approval are insincere and just a guise to get them to continue doing more than their share without complaining. They can become resentful and may slack off or make mistakes in hopes that some of the responsibilities no longer be trusted to them. Or it is possible that they thrive on the recognition and try harder and harder until they exhaust themselves and either become sick or make mistakes that can cause severe problems for the company or serious injury to the employee.

The mistakes discussed here are ones that usually come from the individual by how they allow their managerial position to affect them and how they treat their employees. They are not good, but they can be corrected if they are pointed out to, or realized by, the manager before it is too late. Once a manager learns how to treat and manage their staff properly, allowing them to do what they do best and to work together as a team, great things can be accomplished and the company’s success becomes more inevitable. Everybody wins.



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