Management can be a minefield of potential mistakes for new and experienced managers alike. With this in mind Professional Academy decided to look into the most common mistakes and hopefully help aspiring and current managers avoid these very common pitfalls in the future.
In our time as a professional training academy we have heard tales of managers who will see a mistake being made by a member of their team and instead of reacting there and then they save these mistakes to “discuss at the next performance review”. This may seem like an alternative to micro-management but it can hurt your business. For example if your sales person has a terrible telephone manner they could spend months putting potential customers off from your business when a simple tap on the shoulder and a chat to highlight the issue would nip it in the bud there and then.
Spending all day fixating on the day to day issues of your business can cause your business to stagnate. Though we said in the last point that you shouldn’t be afraid to fix problems on the spot, you also should not be afraid to take a step back from the business, sit down and strategise for the future. There is no shame in even the most open doored manager closing his door to plan or even working off site for the afternoon to look at where your business or even your team should be focusing, changing and developing in to the future.
When it comes to planning and creating strategy it is important to acknowledge the thoughts and ideas of the team, some of the best ideas in the world have come from the workforce. Your team are the ones who deal directly with customers on a daily basis so they are constantly gathering feedback and some may even be implementing ways to make day to day life easier and the business stronger without even realising it. Embrace these ideas, they may be able to be rolled out across the whole business and could help propel your business in to the future.
It may be a cliché but true respect really is earned and cannot be demanded. It starts in the simplest place by knowing and respecting your team. If you talk to someone like a child they will act like a child so knowing which approach works best for each team member is essential works best with. Some will need to be given a sharp kick up the backside once in a while, some will need confidence boosting, some may want to be left alone to get on and some may need to be reminded of their job role every so often, but all employees are different and must be treated as such. This individual approach will earn you respect as a manager and will help your team, help you to move the business forward.
The most common mistakes for managers are usually focused around delegation; either a manager is delegating too much or not enough. A manager who fails to delegate will become overloaded and fail to move the business forward. A manager who over delegates with no explanation as to why could lose the respect of their team. The key rules to live by as a manager when it comes to delegating are:
Managers sometimes forget that motivation isn’t just about cash incentives. Each team member can be motivated by different things from training to responsibility, internal promotion to the standard monetary incentive. Knowing what motivates your team members will help you get the best out of them and there is no blanket solution but knowing the right carrot to hang off the end of the stick will really drive results for your business.
A team, business or individual without a goal can become aimless, unmotivated and their performance will be difficult if not impossible to track. A team should not only be aware of their own goals personally and as a collective but also the businesses goals and philosophy. An understanding of how individual goals form part of the company’s goals will help to consolidate a team towards a common goal. If everyone is working together the goal will become easier to achieve and more celebrated across the team when it has been achieved or surpassed.
Just because you are a manager does not mean you have to lock your sense of humour away. There is nothing wrong with letting your hair down once in a while, sharing a joke and maybe a drink with your team every now and then. It is important for your team to know you are a human being and not just a robotic, humourless boss.
Managers, new and old, often get this wrong which is why the previous 8 mistakes occur. Managers are often thrown in at the deep end when they start their first management role with no training and really no sense of what being a manager actually means. Victor Lipman wrote 10 reasons why companies should invest in management training for Forbes in 2012:
“…This is akin to someone who’s never driven before being given keys to a car and told: “Drive.” (Many many years ago, this is how I first learned to manage. I blundered my way through it. Trial and error. It wasn’t pretty.)”
This is where CMI Management & Leadership Qualifications come in handy. As the title suggests they not only look at management but the leadership qualities a manager needs to be successful from your very First Managerial Role to the day you are working as a Company Director. The CMI have developed a qualification to suit each level and help you drive your business forward.
If you would like some more information feel free to download a copy of Professional Academy’s Management Qualification Prospectus or contact Professional Academy for an informal skills assessment.