Being a manager that is both well respected and effective in the workplace is a difficult balancing act. While it is important to keep your employees happy, you also need to ensure that their work is still producing results. The first step in managing effectively is to recognize the problems you may be inadvertently causing. Here are five common mistakes and possible solutions to keep your employees thriving in the workplace.
Mistake: Maintaining the status quo in your workplace.
Solution: Complacency is like an electric, blinking neon sign of danger. When managing your team, don’t just think, “Is this working?” You need to think, “How can this work even better?” An archaic structure can quickly collapse. Solve this problem by proactively meeting with your employees to keep ideas flowing and allowing change when it is useful in your workplace.
Mistake: Assigning group projects with limited diversity.
Solution: Putting the people that get along best in a group isn’t the best way to get real results. A homogenous group means everyone brings the same ideas and thought processes to the table. Instead of putting the people that get along best in a group together, mix it up a little bit. Although the people in the group may not be good friends outside of the workplace, they can bring different opinions and answers to the table. In addition to adding diversity to groups, try assigning a leader. This can prevent a task from splintering behind the scenes due to mixed opinions.
Mistake: Assigning roles and providing little to no feedback.
Solution: Look for additional skills in your employees to decide where their hidden talents may lie. Many people have more to offer than specifically what they were hired to do. Providing a safe environment free of judgment where they feel comfortable voicing ideas will make them feel like they can come to you with ideas. Don’t laugh at ideas that seem farfetched, as this will prevent them from coming to you again with future opinions. Encouraging even wild ideas when brainstorming can help your employees think outside of the box and often bring non-traditional yet effective solutions.
Mistake: Getting stuck in the day-to-day routine.
Solution: It is critical to periodically take a step back to look at the big picture in the workplace. As a manager, it is easy to lose sight of what is really important in the day-to-day workplace. If you remind yourself to look at the entire budget and goals of your department every so often, you can re-evaluate these things to keep these goals progressing. Instead of focusing on small problems, allow your employees to think big and consider how a radical shift could benefit the entire business.
Mistake: Micromanaging employees and restricting their freedom.
Solution: A good company hires people that they can trust. A good manager helps groom other leaders within the company. Combining these two things can create a thriving workplace with tons of innovative ideas. Instead of trying to walk your employees through a project every step of the way, give them space to figure out solutions themselves. The trust and respect you are showing them will not go unnoticed, and will allow your employees to come up with innovative new ways of working. When you give them this freedom, you are also training them to be independent leaders that do not rely entirely on your advice. Although it may seem difficult at first to let your employees take the reins, in the long run it will make them stronger, more effective leaders.
Independent thought and trust is key to allowing innovation to thrive in a workplace. A good manager understands that employees need to feel that their opinions and thoughts are valued by the company, and not ignored. Giving them the freedom to make their own decisions will eventually help them become strong managers themselves. Use these management solutions to groom your employees into the leaders of tomorrow.
Did we miss any? Have you made any of these common management mistakes? What did you do to correct them? Let us know in the comments below!