Aug 11, 2021 by Matt Dixon
Managing a team is a very complex and difficult task. The challenges of managing a team are endless. No two teams are the same and some or all of these mistakes can be taking place in your workplace today. Addressing common mistakes in the workplace, and understanding why these things might happen, and what can be done to fix these mistakes is a crucial aspect of your business’s growth and success.
Some common management mistakes in the workplace include:
1. Poor Communication
As the leader of your team, you have to be able to talk to everyone about everything. You are the first source that team members go to, you must be available and willing to speak with your staff. No successful business has bad communication.
How to Overcome This: Regularly go to your staff and ask how things are, or if there are any issues with anything. Really listen. Being available and discovering the different types of people you work with will help with your communication delivery and eliminate any barriers between you and your staff. Get to know them on a personal level
2. Less Productivity & No Motivation
Decreased productivity and lack of motivation can cause issues within the workplace. Figuring out why there is poor performance and identifying the problems that your staff might be having that is causing the lack of productivity is crucial.
How to Overcome This: Empower your team. Give them the tools to do their job and get out of their way. Sometimes life gets in the way- Ask your staff if they need help with anything or if something other than work related topics is the cause. We are human and we all have emotions and feelings that sometimes can’t be pushed aside. Remember life is hard at times. Being critical or stern can lead to a break in trust so try to solve the lack of motivation by understanding what exactly is going on with your staff individually.
3. Poor Collaborative Efforts
Working with people and their different personalities, work ethics and work schedules can be difficult. We all do things differently, within our own pace and how we know best to do it. Sometimes it's hard working in a group when you are used to individual tasks and assignments.
How to Overcome This: Ice breakers. Allow time for your staff to get together within working hours. Lunches, workshops and different team building exercises can get your staff more comfortable with one another. Create dedicated communication channels. With most teams still being remote, team members can’t walk over to someone’s desk. It takes more effort, but can be done. Schedule a monthly or quarterly team meeting to discuss openly how the team feels everything is going. You will be surprised to see some of the things they have to say.
4. Weak Workplace Culture
Lacking in workplace culture suggests that your values, goals and missions aren’t widely shared within your company. Or perhaps buy in is lacking. The goals of your company should be known and fully understood by staff. If your employees don’t understand what they are working for and what the end goal is, how can they succeed in the workplace? How will your business reach success without reinforcing your goals?
How to Overcome This: If you are struggling with weak workplace culture in your business, reassess your core values and goals. Let this be known to your staff through a formal meeting. Allow all staff to be present and ask questions to gain better comprehension of the company. Better yet, have your staff participate in defining core values and team goals.
5. Pressure of Performance
Performing to an unrealistic standard is impossible. Don’t set impossible deadlines and expect projects to be done to completion. This adds more stress than needed and less satisfactory quality of assignments/ projects.
How to Overcome This: Assess what your business needs done. Each team should be involved in determining the timeline. Give the project or task to your team with enough time to complete everything. Don’t give a task that would take 3 months and expect it to be done within a few weeks. If you are giving your staff work, allow the proper amount of time to get it finished. It’s not fair to put impossible expectations on your staff when you yourself couldn’t complete the task in that time frame either.
Your staff are all different. From personalities to work ethic, we all view and think of things differently. Conflict is bound to happen in the workplace. We have all experienced conflict in our lives.
How to Overcome This: Being a good listener is the focal point. Understanding all sides of the conflict will put you in a better position to deal with the problem. Identifying the major points of the conflict and prioritizing how everyone is feeling will help to stop the conflict altogether. Developing a plan that can help solve the issue and going through with the plan will lead to successful resolutions. Maintaining respect for each individual will help them come to a resolution more quickly.
7. Micromanaging / Delegating
Just because you are the team leader does not give you the right to give unnecessary tasks to your staff because you are ‘in charge’. For some, allowing the team to take on tasks that you don’t have time for is crucial but being fair is the focal point. Do your share and your staff will do theirs. You also have to know how to manage your time as well as be available for your team. It’s also important to note hovering over your team and their tasks won’t get the tasks done sooner. You will come off as not having confidence in your team, which will break trust.
How to Overcome This: Focus on your tasks at hand and how you want to distribute everything. You have to believe that your staff knows what they are doing- They were hired for a reason. You also have to let yourself as a team leader not get stressed with multiple tasks.
Mistakes are often made in the workplace. We are human, they will happen. Holding yourself accountable for your team’s missteps are your responsibility. If your team is not performing, it’s essentially up to you to change that. The failures of your staff are yours too. Remember, failure is a great teacher. What can you learn from it?
How to Overcome This: Make sure that everyone knows what they are supposed to do, when they are supposed to be done with their task and what your expectations are. Your employees were hired because they have the skills to do what needs to be done for your company. If they don’t meet expectations then that’s up to you to figure out what needs to happen.
Just because you are the lead of your team doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be active or present with your staff. Participate in your company’s ice breakers, or be more active in going to see your team in their offices or through zoom meetings. Be present in your company.
How to Overcome This: Orchestrate your own workshops or ice breaker activities. This will allow you to get to know your staff on a more personal level and make you seem more approachable. This also will build trust between you and your employees. Be present in every interaction. Really listen.
10. Building Trust
Trust in who works for you is important. Not having trust in your team essentially can make performance and motivation decrease.
How to Overcome This: Start by getting to know your employees and gaining trust over time. It won’t be an overnight process, but breaking down barriers and learning who your staff is will make for better interactions.
The challenges of leading a team are abundant and forever growing. It’s up to you to change what needs to be changed. You have to realize that as much as you are a leader, you are no different than the staff who works with you. Realizing this will make for a more approachable and effective leader.
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