The Most Common Mistakes Managers Make at Work

Everyone makes mistake, but as a manager, taking the time to learn how to recognize and avoid common mistakes is crucial to help you become productive and successful, and highly respected by your team.

These mistakes below are common mistakes for managers to make, often because they aren’t aware that these behaviors could lead to problems. But at best, these behaviors can affect your relationship with your team, and at worst they could lead to damaging claims for you and your company. In addition to protecting yourself and your Delaware operation with a comprehensive Business Insurance program, take a look at this list of common problem behaviors for managers.

Mistake #1: Not Giving Feedback

Failing to provide feedback is the most common mistake that leaders make. Without feedback, your people will be deprived of the opportunity to improve their performance. Without the right guidance they will not understand what they could improve on, and they will inevitably make the same mistakes continuously.

Learn how to provide effective regular feedback to your team, and learn the difference between criticism and constructive criticism. The key to effective feedback is that it is delivered tactfully and clearly to the employee and provides them with clear actionable steps to take to improve their performance. Unclear, unhelpful, or overly negative feedback will only confuse or annoy your employees.

Mistake #2: Not Making Time for Your Team

It is important to make yourself available to your team. They must come first, otherwise they won’t have the support that they need to meet their objectives. Block out time in your schedule specifically for your people, and learn to actively listen. They must know when they can get your help. This is the essence of strong leadership.

Mistake #3: Being Too Friendly

Most of us want to be seen as friendly and approachable to people in our team. People are happier working for a manager that they get along with and in result produce better work. However, there is a happy medium. Making tough decisions regarding people in your team is part of the role. Managers will need to figure out the balance between being a friend and being the boss. It can be difficult separating your emotions from your business when you allow yourselves to become too friendly with your team, and it is a common mistake for managers to sacrifice smart business decisions in the name of personal relationships. In addition, you always want to make sure that you conduct yourself professionally. Getting along with your team is great, but getting too chummy could cause trouble down the line.

Mistake #3: Making Undefined Goals

Unclear goals will result in a messy day. People can’t be productive if they don’t know what they’re working for, or what their work means. They won’t be able to prioritize effectively, and they will have a difficult time knowing when they’ve achieved their work.

Specify where your team is going and detail resources. Specify KPIs (key performance indicators). Try to create numerical or otherwise measurable endpoints for your team, and set a timeline for your goals. Be sure to make them achievable: while unrealistic goals can occasionally work as motivators, constantly setting impossible goals will make it difficult for anything to be achieved.

Finally, align your team’s goals to the mission of the organization. In addition to individual goals, make sure that your employees are seeing how they fit into the bigger picture.

Mistake #4: Ignoring Motivation

Many leaders make the mistake of assuming that their team is only working for monetary compensation. However, though this is a great motivator this is not the only thing that motivates. Those seeking a greater work/life balance may be motivated by remote days or flexible hours. Others will be motivated by factors such as achievement, extra responsibility, or praise. It is important to find what truly drives your people.

Mistake #5: Setting a Bad Example

Consider the following examples of how managers often lead by example:

  • If you make personal telephone calls during work time, or speak negatively about your CEO, expect your team to do the same.
  • If they need to stay late, you should also stay late to help them.
  • If the company has a rule that no one eats at their desk, then set the example and eat in the break room each day too. No one will follow rules if they see them not being enforced.
  • If you’re negative sometimes, you can’t expect your people to be positive with a negative leader.

Your team is watching you all the time. Shaping their behavior will start with your own.

About IFS Insurance

At IFS Insurance, we specialize in protecting homeowners and renters throughout Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Our quality solutions and commitment to excellence has allowed us to serve these states for over 50 years. For more information about our products, we invite you to contact us today at (800) 598-0420