New Year’s Resolutions – A Lighthearted Look At 10 Mistakes Managers Should Not Make Next Year…
As 2024 is upon us, many of us may reflect upon our performances and motivations and consider what we can do better going forward. Yes maybe we need to improve our timekeeping and perhaps we should iron once in a while for a more professional, less crumpled look at work, but what are the potential managerial pitfalls of 2024? The team at Serenity in Leadership give some lighthearted advice on what basic mistakes managers should avoid.
1. Setting A Poor Example: As a manager, you should always lead by example. Embody the attitudes and behaviours that you expect to see within your team so if you want to raise the energy in the room and improve company culture, head up the conga line by embodying respect, purpose, inclusion and empathy.
2. Micro-Managing: It’s simple…trust your team. Delegation frees up your time and allows you to focus better on your own work instead of monitoring theirs. Think of it as putting your feet up a little. Sound appealing? But not too much! Build up your team’s skills and knowledge so that you are both confident in their abilities.
3. Not Listening Properly: Ok so hearing Barney give an update on the traffic he met on his way to work may not seem all that interesting, but your colleagues can be vital in making valuable improvements to your business and need to feel comfortable enough to share. Let them discover “what big ears you have” because they’re all the better to support them with, and don’t forget the best way to show that you are listening is to action and respond to feedback. You never know Barney may just save you 30 minutes by suggesting you avoid the A34 on the way home.
4. Not Allowing Flexibility In A Hybrid Working World: The world has changed and most employees have a taste for working at home with The Office for National Statistics reporting that 44% of workers are home or hybrid working. Employees want trust, they demand flexibility, and they crave work-life balance. Crazily enough many of us would love an extra hour in the day to spend with loved ones or in the gym, rather than sat in traffic. Refer back to Barney’s point.
5. Avoid Power Games: If you’re shaking your head at the thought of it, then this point is for you. Power games are not the right way to get what you want. If you’re looking for a promotion, admiration, or to be a role model, you have to lead with respect rather than fear. Treat people kindly and fairly and stand out from the crowd as a team player rather than a character from the Game of Thrones.
6. Never Take Credit For Someone Else’s Work: Always, and we mean always give credit where it’s due. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will showcase your strength and integrity and highlight how well you support your team. Still wishing you had your own great idea? Get your thinking fedora on and come up with something new that will knock their paisley socks off!
7. Contacting Staff Out Of Hours: A major no-no. It is wonderful to make someone feel like they are really, really needed but instead of encouraging employees to work or answer emails out of hours, encourage them to enjoy an all-important work-life balance.
8. Poor Communication: This is a big one. First and foremost, be sure that your instructions and expectations are clear and concise. Trying to decipher your handwritten instructions or poorly worded emails can lead to miscommunication and conflict. Also, consider the best method of communication – do your employees work better with verbal or written instructions? Check in regularly with your team members to discuss their performance and development opportunities and focus not only on constructive feedback but also on praise and gratitude for work well done.
9. Dishonesty: Messed up? Own up. Admit your mistakes and take responsibility because demonstrating accountability enhances your credibility despite the error. In addition, the sooner you admit the mistake, the sooner it can be rectified. To ensure a culture of integrity, be sure to extend ownership of mistakes to the employee kitchen. If you ate Sandra’s sausage roll, replace it and add an apologetic post-it note! PS – yes, you should sign your name.
10. Burying Your Head In The Sand About A Problem: If you are losing employees left, right, and centre, it’s time to take a long look inwardly. Avoid losing talent and repeating the hiring process again and again, wasting company time and money, and ask yourself why it is that people don’t want to stay. Perhaps it’s you? Perhaps it’s Barney.
Thom Dennis, CEO Serenity in Leadership