Do you wonder why your staff hardly meets any company goals despite having adequate resources at their disposal? In some cases, the employees are not to blame. Some managers barely take the time to critically review their leadership skills. This negligence leads to bad decision-making, and overall poor performance for the entire organization.
Here’s a checklist that will help you identify your weaknesses, and become a better manager:
1. Sending mixed signals to employees
Managers who cannot define their expectations often end up with shoddy results. For instance, you instruct your employees to start working on Project A on Monday. Then just a couple of days later, you show up with Project B, which requires immediate attention. In this situation, your employees will be forced to take a haphazard approach towards the completion of Project A.
Some managers try too hard to please employees, but end up messing the team spirit. It is advisable to treat your employees with a neutral approach. When you become increasingly warm towards them, they will assume you view them more as your friends than employees. Such a manager stirs up resentment among their staff in situations where they demand results rather than requesting.
2. Lacking open channels for feedback
Employees require feedback from authority figures to enable them to grow their skills and work on their weaknesses. Perhaps one of the reasons why your employees work like automatons instead of thinking out of the box could be the fear of getting fired. A manager who does not hold consultative meetings with their employees cannot improve their supervision skills for the greater good of the company.
The benefits of consultative dialogue are immense. Being tactful when channeling your feedback to employees ensures you get your message across effectively without offending anyone.
Procrastination is the thief of time. Managers who postpone attending to their employee's issues end up dealing with larger problems. One of these problems is laziness. When your employees get used to your procrastinating ways, they will also perform their tasks at a leisurely pace. In the long run, your employees will lose respect towards you.
4. Disregarding organizational policies
An organization requires rules and policies to facilitate efficient day-to-day running. Some managers think too highly of their past achievements, to the point of openly flaunting their organization’s policies. Such conflicts sour relationships and affect the company’s morale.
5. Avoiding one-on-one communication with employees
The only time most managers sit down with an employee to talk about progress and career challenges is during annual staff evaluations. No matter the size of your institution or how time-consuming your day is, it is important to schedule frequent meetings with your team. These sessions enable you to gain useful feedback and provide guidance where necessary. Also, you will earn greater respect from your employees because they will appreciate you setting time apart from your hectic schedule to listen to them.
6. Playing favorites
One way of upsetting your organization's harmony is by playing favorites. Employees may not openly protest against a manager who's lenient towards certain employees, but they will express their anger in other forms that directly compromise productivity. The favored employees become subjects of ridicule among the victimized staff who resent their unfair privileges. In the end, the company suffers a huge loss because its skilled employees resign and seek new jobs where everyone gets treated equally.
7. Demeaning employees
A manager dealing with low self-esteem issues relies on hostility to assert his authority. Such managers are toxic to everyone they engage with, especially to employees who have to endure the humiliation on a daily basis. This type of negativity drains employee’s motivation, blocks effective communication and brings about a high turnover of staff.
Treating your employees with respect will make them feel valued, and this boosts their self-motivation towards becoming better at their jobs.
8. Being unapproachable
Team meetings provide an opportunity for the entire organization to generate new ideas that will enhance the company’s performance. Employees value meetings because it gives them a chance to be heard, and get solutions to the problems they frequently encounter. An insecure manager views debates with junior staff as a direct challenges to their authority. Employees who have to work under such leaders cannot freely express their ideas during staff meetings, because the manager usually dominates the session at the expense of everybody.
9. Lacking commitment towards the organization’s goals
A bad manager mainly focuses on what he or she can gain from their organization rather than different ways they can contribute towards value addition. When your employees sense this selfish attitude from your speech and poor work ethics, they will also become indifferent towards the company’s mission. Indifference then dulls employee’s creativity and reduces them to robots.
10. Being dishonest
Honesty goes a long way in establishing and maintaining harmony in the organization. A manager who frequently lies to his employees deliberately destroys interpersonal relationships and his credibility as a leader. Employees will interpret your “yes” as “no” and vice versa.
11. Refusing to recognize achievements
A manager should reward his staff now and then to sustain high morale. It could be in the form of a compliment made in the presence of colleagues, lunch or dinner treat, or a bonus dished out alongside monthly pay checks. Some managers wrongly believe that openly recognizing the exemplary results of an employee makes them seem like they are playing favorites. Leaders obsessed with their authority feel jealous and threatened whenever executive management decides to promote a junior employee to a senior position.
12. Refusing to delegate authority
A manager who runs all major and minor functions of his organization directly contributes towards employee inefficiency. This type of leader views micromanaging as an effective approach towards getting things done. The problem with micromanaging is that it is exhaustive, time-consuming and undermines leadership. Employees get angry when they have to seek your approval for the slightest decisions. Lack of delegation prevents career growth, since your employees will lack opportunities to take on new responsibilities and learn new insights after solving bigger challenges.
13. Spending too much time on decision making
Employees look up to their managers when it comes to making tough decisions for the organization’s best interests. It is not uncommon for a few managers to take days and weeks making up their minds on the organization’s short and long term issues. The problem occurs when employees take note of their manager’s slow decision-making process, and interpret it as weakness.
You can improve your decision-making process by making it a group effort. Your knowledge and career experience will not always be sufficient. Sometimes, listening to different perspectives from employees will open up your mind to new ideas and different ways of thinking.
14. Bad mouthing top-level management
There’s a difference between complaining about someone and speaking ill of them. You may appear gallant and heroic whenever you insult absent senior executive managers in the presence of junior employees. On the other hand, some employees will lose respect towards you for choosing to sling mud at your bosses rather than using correct channels to address your grievances. They may also fear you will subject them to public humiliation should they act contrary to your expectations.
15. Poor resources allocation
A manager that cannot identify the organization's priorities will end up misusing scarce resources. To determine the organization's priorities, a manager needs to focus on the overall mission and vision. Lacking commitment towards the corporate goals means that a manager cannot come up with effective strategies on how to fully exploit available resources.
You cannot become an effective manager if you don’t let go of the signs highlighted above. The good news is that you can become a better manager through working on one weakness at a time.
Excited to speak out to the world? Feel free to ask questions or offer your feedback in the comments section.