Making sure the company is running efficiently and effectively is more complicated than hiring qualified people and telling them what to do. Having an incredible staff to support and carry out your business’ goals will only get you so far; the key is fostering a community within the workplace in which your workers not only feel comfortable to work and produce quality results, but empowered to take ownership and make decisions which will have a positive impact to the company. Here are some common mistakes managers make which have a profoundly negative effect on their workers’ attitudes:
1) Not introducing yourself on a personal level. Personally connecting with your team members will make them feel as if they aren’t just workers, but individuals and key contributors to your organization. I am not talking about meeting them for drinks at Happy Hour, but simply inquiring about their interests and hobbies. Find a common ground by showing genuine interest in them and what they care about, and you will build trust and alliance.
2) Refusing to accept responsibility. I have noticed when projects fail and goals are not met, a lot of managers neglect to acknowledge their responsibility for the failure. Great questions to ask are “What didn’t I do to ensure the successful completion of the project? What support did I not give my employees which may have prevented this end result? Could I have done anything to change the outcome?” Then be vocal about your part in the missed deliverable or milestone – your employees will respect you for it.
3) Calling employees out in public. There is no quicker way to stifle creativity and create resentment in a team than publicly criticizing someone’s work in front of their coworkers. This is a humiliating act and is likely to cause other workers to think differently of this employee, create tension in the workplace, and establish fear which will keep others from “stepping up”.
4) Threatening their jobs. The fear of failure is something that can easily take over your employees’ minds and greatly impact the work they produce. Threatening their jobs will create this fear. Workers who are in constant fear of losing their jobs will either leave the company in search of more security, or they will be too afraid to branch out, embrace new concepts in the workplace, or let their creativity show in their work. If you have an employee who makes a mistake which needs to be addressed, address it! But do it in a private forum of helping the employee create a plan to improve. Set your boundaries, but be clear you are there to support the team member while he works on an improvement action plan.
5) Not being approachable. One of the biggest keys in ensuring your employees are happy, comfortable, and empowered to help the company achieve its goals is by making yourself accessible. Workers who aren’t able to openly ask questions, request more guidance, and brainstorm ideas and concepts will often produce work below your expectations.
What a lot of managers fail to realize is that you need your team members to reach your goals. Additionally, your team is a direct reflection on you and your ability to lead effectively. Making small changes to your management style could go a long way in making sure employee morale is high and the work being produced is of the highest quality.
What do you think – do you have others “Morale Killers” to add?
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