The following are seven habits of which every ineffective manager has cultivated at least one. Want to be an effective manager? Kick these habits.
Habit #1 Continually break your word
A manager who breaks his word to employees destroys trust and breeds resentment. Ineffective managers do little to build employee trust; in fact, they tend to do the opposite. As trust diminishes, so does the quality of work produced by the employees.
Result: Employees lose their trust in their manager.
Kick the habit: If you continually put yourself in this situation, it’s time to realize that it’s better to err on the side of promising to do less for employees than more. The fact is, if you promise to extend yourself beyond what you are capable of doing, at some point you will let your employees down.
Habit #2: Chastise your employees publicly
The ineffective manager regularly chastisers and even ridicules his or her employees in front of other staff. Often times this happens because they want to solve a problem quickly and on the spot. But sometimes managers do this because they want to feel and look like they are in control, particularly when they feel they aren’t
Result: Employees are alienated and full of resentment toward their manager.
Kick the habit: it’s time to start solving problems in private. Addressing an employee in private shows you are interested in their long-term success instead of fixing an immediate, and perhaps trivial need.
Habit #3: Get all up in their business
There is nothing wrong with a manager wanting to know his or her employees well, but a thoughtless manager can quickly cross personal boundaries and invade privacy. This gets even worse when the manager begins to talk about these things with other employees.
Result: Employees will be uncomfortable and generally unresponsive to the manager who acts this way. They may consider the manager to be…
Kick the habit: You healthy desire to know your employees doesn’t have to result in invasion of privacy. Let your employees offer up any information they feel comfortable sharing about their private lives, but don’t press them for details.
Habit #4: Withhold positive feedback
The ineffective manager lives under the assumption that their best employees know they are doing a good a job and don’t need any positive reinforcement. They feel that for employees, no news is good news – they are only there to fix the problems.
Result: a lack of positive feedback will make any employee disenchanted with their job and feel as if they aren’t noticed and appreciated.
Kick the habit: Even a few simple sentences of positive affirmation will bolster employee confidence and build your rapport with the team. Don’t underestimate the power of this – it could be the greatest way to increase productivity.
Habit #5: Be all-knowing all the time
No manager can do everything on their own. If they could, why would they need employees? The ineffective manager is guilty of: micromanagement; never forwarding a question to an employee who knows more about the subject then they do; giving their employees access to sensitive company information, but not allowing them to do a small task without approval.
Result: This makes employees feel as if they don’t have any ownership over their job, thereby decreasing productivity. It also makes the manager stressed and on edge as everything rests upon his performance.
Kit the habit: It’s time relinquish control and allow your employees to do the jobs they were hired to do. If you are unsure if this is a problem, simply ask your employees if they feel micromanaged, and ask them to be honest. Do this and everyone will be more comfortable, including yourself.
Habit #6: Speak before listening
Ineffective managers don’t take the time to listen to their employees – they have deadlines to meet and believe that their employees are there to do their work, not talk about it. Instead, they do all the talking.
Result: These kinds of managers don’t see much growth within their team because they never hear about the problems their employees are experiencing. Productivity will remain stagnant, and employees will be frustrated.
Kick the habit: This one takes concerted effort, but start by setting up a time to meet with each employee and give them the space to speak their mind, assuring them that you won’t be mad. Now comes the hard part: Sit there and let them do the talking. Write down all of their feedback and respond with thought out answers the following week, if necessary.
Habit #7: Be afraid of discipline
Perhaps the most difficult job of a manager is disciplining employees. This comes with the territory and just can’t be avoided. The ineffective manager will allow an unruly and/or unproductive employee to continue their behaviour.
Result: Failure to discipline will give an employee license to continue their poor behavior for as long as it goes neglected. If the employee isn’t carrying his or her weight, a manager’s inaction will anger the whole team.
Kick the habit: Whether it’s for fear of conflict or just plain laziness, disciplinary action must be taken. It’s time to think big picture. Set a time to meet with the employee in question and do what needs to be done. Don’t be afraid to consult higher-ups for specific strategies on addressing the individual.