In Charlotte, North Carolina, there are as many varied management styles as there are businesses. Some management practices are better than others but none are perfect, which is why managers have to continuously learn and improve.
Part of this growth process is overcoming common management mistakes.Here are some of the most glaring errors to avoid in order to increase OR ensure productivity.
In this day and age, no one thinks that constantly looking over an employee's shoulder to ensure they're performing tasks correctly is a good management practice. While nagging people can get things done, too much hands-on management will be overwhelming for you and your employees.
This management style can imply that you don’t trust your team. This is a no-no, as it can be disheartening and frustrating for them, which can make them less productive. It’s important to remember that delegating is an essential management practice. You have to step back and allow your team to apply their skills and do what they were hired to do.
Maintaining a sedentary culture
Many companies still hold fast to the idea that sitting at a workstation or cubicle for long hours translates into productivity. But the truth is, too many hours of desk time can lead to burnout, slower metabolism, and other health complications. All of these point to lessened productivity.
The American Psychological Association asserts that exercise can boost work productivity by 15%. It’s not difficult to see why, as healthier and more energetic employees will work harder than lethargic, sick, or burned out ones.
As managers, lead by example — make it a policy to break up hours of sitting with short periods of physical activity. Take frequent stretch breaks. If you can, set up a room with yoga mats for that purpose, or create a creative/play/social space away from workstations. Taking a brisk walk before work can be much like having a morning cup of coffee. Whatever gets the blood pumping and the muscles loose can help.
Conducting too many meetings
Meetings are a great tool for managers to address team members’ issues and set expectations for them. However, they are also interruptions to the daily flow of productivity. One has to be careful not to overdo meetings and waste a lot of time in the process.
You should only have meetings when it's absolutely necessary. Save time by creating an agenda and sharing it with your team beforehand. Sticking to this agenda will help keep your meeting concise, on track, productive, and free from communication errors.
Having unclear goals and expectations
Aside from delegation, another essential responsibility of a manager is establishing a culture of accountability. It is your role to hold your team accountable for goals and objectives.
Goals can serve as key performance indicators (KPIs), which are metrics for success or progress. But before you hold your team accountable for these goals, set up clear and realistic expectations regarding their roles and responsibilities. That’s because goals based on impossible expectations can easily lead to demoralized or demotivated employees.
Take time to get a good grasp of your team’s strengths and resources. This way, your goals are based on realistic expectations.
Not switching off
Encouraging employees to achieve work-life balance can produce optimum results. After all, better work-life balance leads to happier, more productive employees.
Working round the clock or bringing work home is an ingrained value that’s hard to shake off even in modern workplaces. It’s important to fight against this habit and remind your team that working longer hours does not necessarily mean higher productivity. It’s necessary then for managers to encourage staff to switch off, even checking in on how they are doing outside of work.
Checking in on them doesn’t mean going so far as intruding on their personal relationships and problems, but rather showing an interest in them making time to relax. You could even hold them accountable for this by asking for updates during one-on-one meetings.
Knowing that your company prioritizes work-life balance can also encourage employees to seek it out. It’s a win-win, as employees are happier and the company gets more motivated workers.
Providing recognition to everyone in the same way
Recognizing good work can make employees feel seen and valued. It can motivate them to be more productive, thereby contributing to the success of the company. This is why giving recognition is a cardinal rule in business leadership.
Managers may not intend it but providing recognition to everyone in the exact same way can be impersonal. Get to know your employees and you may be surprised that some love shout-outs or public recognition, while others don’t. Some may prefer something a little more private — a thank you in an email or a direct message, perhaps.
Not knowing these preferences may lead to some employees feeling short-changed or embarrassed if recognized in ways they don’t appreciate. It’s extra work, but getting to know your employees’ preferences will make them feel more valued and, in turn, more loyal to your company.
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