How to Avoid Major Pitfalls as Manager

For a company to achieve success, mid-level managers must successfully direct employees. This involves recognizing and avoiding the biggest pitfalls.

Less-effective managers typically don’t have the right soft skills to lead, perhaps because they never had essential training in how to manage people. Simply put, bad managers don’t have the sensibility, sensitivity, and understanding required to work manage people all day long.

It is important to remember: When workers quit, one of the top reasons given is a poor relationship with management. With all of this in mind, consider the follow ways to avoid major pitfalls as a manager.

Know your employees as people

Establishing a connection with staff members is essential in management. While you should not be your employees’ therapist or best friend, you’ll want to understand what’s generally going on in their lives. Knowing staff members personally will make you a better manager; one that is more responsive to needs, emotions and life events.

Set clear expectations

Supervisors that don’t lay out clear performance standards and set expectations have employees that don’t know what they are supposed to prioritize and wonder what happens when they fail. If a manager makes every task a top priority, employees won’t have any true priorities. Moreover, they will never feel like they have achieved anything significant.

When setting expectations, strive to chart a course without dictating behavior. Prioritize employee empowerment and engagement, rather than micromanaging.

Trust your people

When supervisors don’t trust employees to do their jobs, it inevitably leads to negative actions, such as micromanaging.

Give your employees the benefit of the doubt and trust them from the beginning. This basic level of trust shouldn’t be shaken until the worker proves himself or herself unworthy of it.

Prioritize employee feedback

Active listening is a fundamental management skill. While you can learn how to be an active listener, someone who believes that listening is a way to value employees will be an active listener by default.

Listening means recognizing the importance of what is being said. When staff members feel listened to, they feel important and confident in their contributions. A policy of active listening also increases the amount of information coming into the decision-making process.

Practice transparency

Today’s employees don’t just want transparency from management, they expect it. Of course, some sensitive information must be kept confidential. But aside from a few rare occasions, you should try to share everything you know about the company and its operations.

Treat everyone fairly

Employees are more willing to take criticism if they feel everyone receives equal treatment. The perception of ‘playing favorites’ will undermine your authority and effectiveness in managing everyone on your team.

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