How do you really make a mess of your management abilities? How do you get your teams to rebel?
Well, there are a plethora of things you can do, but I’ve found five things that will almost guarantee you’ll come a cropper with your teams and customers. See if you agree:
1. Inconsistent / Frequently Changing Priorities
People are willing to put a lot of effort and support if they feel they are involved in things. They want goals and objectives to be clear and inspiring. But when those goals are inconsistent or changed too often, they feel let down, demotivated and frustrated. It’s a sure way to completely mess up. So what should you do?
Set a short-, medium-, and long-term strategy and stick to each for a reasonable period without being distracted by the newest new ideas. Have some consistency and you’ll keep motivation up.
2. Accepting Mediocrity or Average Work
This will really cause problems if it goes on, mainly because it sets a precedent and drives people to deliver ordinary pieces of work. No-one would improve things if average was acceptable. What can you do?
Set high goals for the team and build in both rewards (for success) and consequences (for failure). Apply both consistently and fairly.
3. Unclear Goals
When people don’t know what they should be doing or why, they lack drive and emotional contact with the whole job. What can be done if this is affecting you?
Review goals and objectives with what you want your team members to do. Build job descriptions and help top performers to do things that only they can do.
4. Under-utilisation of skills
You’ve got people who you employed to carry out specific tasks. By not utilising those skills, you stand the chance of messing up because you don’t get the best out of people and they start to produce mediocre work. How can you stop messing up this way?
Have the employee produce a list of what he or she could/should be doing to occupy free time. Review and agree on how their skills should be utilised. Look at your own delegation skills–if you have an under-utilised top performer, it’s a sure sign you’re a micromanager who has problems delegating.
5. Managing when you should be leading
You should be managing situations and resources. You should lead people. Many managers mess up by applying management to scenes where leadership should be displayed. How can you make sure you do it right?
Ensure you know when people need to be lead, and be the kind of manager people are ready and willing to follow.
So, do you want to mess up, or do you want to stand by your values and make your team want to improve? Make a conscious decision not to mess up and you’ll go far!
Head of Training
Originally published: 28 November, 2012
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