Managers are the backbone of any successful team. They are the ones who ensure things are getting done on time and people are doing their work correctly. But not all managers are created equal.
Sometimes they make mistakes and that’s normal. It’s part of their job to learn, refine and tweak their approach to management constantly. However, a manager must be conscientious of what they are doing and if it ultimately helps or hinders their team’s progress. Or worse, you could be burning out your team.
Here are some mistakes you could be making that are harming your team’s growth and productivity.
1. Micromanaging your employees
Nothing is more frustrating than being monitored and told what to do on every single bit of a task. Not only does this demoralize employees, but it also slows down the advancement of a project by having them constantly report to you.
The main problem with micromanaging is that it goes against the very nature of being a manager—you’re supposed to be delegating tasks, empowering employees to make decisions on their own, and letting go of the reins so they can learn how to do things themselves. You want them to do things by themselves eventually, but if they don’t have the opportunity or incentive to get there, they’ll never get better at their jobs.
2. Overly autocratic
Another mistake managers make is by being too dictatorial. When you are a manager, you must let your employees know what your expectation of them is and how exactly to do it. It is vital for managers that they lay down the rules and make sure that each member of the team understands those rules. In the strictest sense of the term, an authoritarian is someone who doesn’t listen to others and who makes decisions for other people instead of letting those people do it for themselves.
3. Not giving and/or accepting feedback
Adding to the list is failing to give or offer feedback to your employees, either because you are too busy, don’t want to hurt feelings, or think it’s not your job. Then you wonder why the business isn’t growing and why the people who work for you aren’t getting better at what they do. If an employee does something wrong, you should provide input so the employee will know what exactly he did wrong and how he could fix it to avoid repeating the same mistake. Giving positive and negative feedback is also essential because it will help employees grow into better employees.
The truth is that you are responsible for the growth of your employees. For your team to improve, you need to set expectations for each person’s development, provide resources and train them to grow in those areas, and then give feedback about how well (or not) they are meeting those goals. When there is no direction from above, teams tend to stagnate. As a manager, you should constantly give feedback to your team members and push them toward greater levels of success. You want your people to succeed because it makes the entire business stronger. Without that kind of leadership, teams flounder.
4. Failing to set goals for employees
One way to motivate your employees is by setting goals for them. Goals allow them to focus on what needs to be done for the company to succeed, making it easier for the employees to know what their job entails.
Their goals will serve as the compass that leads the employees to the right path. When your employees know their goals, it gives them a sense of purpose for their work and how it contributes to the company’s overall success.
5. Failing to help team members understand their role in the big picture
Help them figure out their strengths. And with these strengths, allow them to fill their role in the team. Give examples of how others have done it in the past; give them resources like tools or company policies or vision/mission articles that will help them understand their role in the team.
6. You don’t give them opportunities to grow
It’s important to actively engage with your employees to ensure they’re learning and growing in their roles, even if they seem content with where they are. Employees who feel unchallenged or uninterested in moving forward may start looking for advancement elsewhere.
Most employees don’t leave their companies because they didn’t get a chance to learn something new or upskill; they leave because they have been pigeonholed into a role that doesn’t challenge them anymore. They need more than just a reason to go to work every day; they also need a reason to come back tomorrow.
7. You don’t clearly communicate expectations
Without clear expectations, it’s impossible for anyone to succeed—and when you’re not clear on what you expect of them, they may try to guess what you need rather than doing what you want. They may also incorrectly assume that everyone is being evaluated the same way, which will lead to resentment among your staff if some people get praised for mediocre work while others get criticized for excellent work.
Keep Your Team Happy and Motivated
It’s challenging to lead a remote team; there’s no doubt about that. There is no magic formula or checklist that will ensure a smooth work environment. But there are some things you should stop doing and things you can do to better your chances.
Avoid these mistakes and you’re closer to a highly motivated working environment not only for your team but also for you. This will immensely improve your team’s growth and productivity.