Don’t accidentally become a bad leader by ignoring these imperceptible team management mistakes.
Every day is a new challenge for many companies, including the most successful ones. If it’s not looking for new leads or new ways of acquiring customers, they’re looking for ways to outdo the competition. All this is done concurrently with trying to work efficiently and effectively.
However, as all these happen, managers can easily neglect the most important aspect of running a business ‒ effective team management. It is the leader’s task to ensure that the team is well-managed, with everything running smoothly, including proper communication, the delegation of tasks, team motivation, and so forth.
It is a no-brainer that management can be a minefield for potential mistakes, which both rookie and experienced managers can make. Whether they are temporary setbacks or career stoppers solely depends on the manager’s approach and outlook. Human is to err, and the best leaders openly admit their mistakes and use them as a learning opportunity.
Repeatedly making the same mistakes, however, can be detrimental to your career and the organization. You can lead an effective team by properly managing your employees. In order to help you do that, here are the five common team management mistakes to avoid:
1. Failure To Define Goals And Objectives
Without a clear set of goals driving you, you may end up becoming aimless and unmotivated; hence, your performance becomes nearly impossible to track. It is good for a team to understand their individual goals and objectives and that of the company. However, it is even better if they knew the organization’s philosophy and how their input helps to drive the business towards achieving its objectives.
Ensure that you set SMART goals for your team. S.M.A.R.T is a mnemonic acronym that is used as a guide in the setting of objectives. It basically states that goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
While setting due dates and deliverables may be a great driving force, it is not the most effective one, as there are always too many conflicting demands at the workplace. Employees may have to focus on multiple projects, issues, and customers, making the notion of having deadlines and deliverables ineffective.
The best way around this is to set priorities. This is because the absence of priorities can lead to missed deadlines, unhappy customers, or failed deliverables. As you set goals and objectives, it is also crucial to fully grasp all the tasks that are being run within the organization. Whenever conflicting demands arise, it would be prudent to weigh them against business objectives to help in identifying priorities.
2. The Lack Of Effective Communication
Effective communication is the backbone for the success of any organization. Without proper communication, no one will know what exactly they’re supposed to do, how they are doing, and worse, there will be problems arising when collaborating. This often leads to loads of work errors, erroneous expectations, poor performance, low morale, and so much more.
Effective communication isn’t all about how individuals talk within the company, but also how effective is the message that’s being shared? How is the message passed along? How well did the recipient of the message understand it?
Leaders have to clearly communicate with different people and at different levels. For instance, the technical level includes their communication with employees on work instructions, reporting to clients, etc. There’s also the big picture level, which entails the clear communication of company goals, objectives, and vision.
Regardless of the situation, managers have to create proper channels and put strategies to help team players communicate effectively.
So, what should managers do to boost communication in the workplace?
The best way to avoid communication failures is to take proactive steps to sharpen the communication skills of the staff. With all the technological advancements, managers should use all the available opportunities to improve communication between team members.
For instance, an effective method of developing team members’ communication skills can be the use of podcasts. According to podcast statistics, it is considered to be one of the most common ways of learning new skills.
Managers must be clear and concise when communicating with their employees. You should also include a confident yet empathetic tone in both written and oral communication, as it goes a long way in making your message well-understood.
Develop proper channels of communication, making it easier for employees to reach out to you whenever there’s an issue. Do not make it difficult for the employees to reach out to you due to bureaucracies. You should implement an open-door policy that allows team players to reach out to you whenever they’re having any issues within their work.
However, for any work reports and updates, they may have to pass the information by their departmental supervisors before reaching you – creating a hierarchy within the organization.
3. Failure To Delegate Work
The failure to delegate work is often listed as a manager’s topmost reason for failure ‒ and with a good reason. For starters, being a leader means allowing others to handle tasks rather than handling them yourself. Generally, some managers are afraid of their teammates making mistakes at work, thus, they don’t fully delegate tasks to them.
A common misconception among most managers is that it may be easier for them to work on the tasks by themselves. While it may be easier, it is not wise.
Even though there are times that you feel like no one else in your team can handle such tasks, you can still have them follow in your footsteps. Have them monitor and learn how you do the work, and you can continuously motivate them by delegating such tasks to them in the future until they get the hang of it and know how to do it correctly.
Delegation of tasks as a manager is an integral part of effective team management. Failure to do so results in the wastage of time, talent, and other resources. Furthermore, managers are supposed to focus much of their time on “broader-view” tasks other than the technical, everyday work.
Besides, delegating work enables leaders to take the pressure off the work, helping them to avoid being stressed and burned out.
A manager’s ability to lead also gets compromised if they fail to delegate certain tasks. This is because the staff feels like management doesn’t trust them to do their jobs and is unwilling to delegate the tasks. Employee morale also suffers a great deal.
Managers should have confidence in their teams and avoiding constant oversight shows that you believe in them, pushing your team to work extra hard to achieve the set objectives.
4. Not Making Time For Your Team
As a leader, it is paramount to understand that your people must always come first. Even though you already have a lot on your plate, you must always create time to chat with your team members and understand how they’re fairing, what issues they’re facing at work, what suggestions for improvements they have, and so much more.
Your people need your guidance and support to help them maneuver through the challenges they face to meet organizational objectives. They need to know that they can always reach out to you at any time, and you’ll give them your ear.
Making time for your team also entails having regular one-on-one sessions with them. Try to schedule these face-to-face meetings weekly or monthly and go over any issues the employees may be facing.
You should also make enough time to enable you to go through the work done by your employees and offer your comprehensive feedback. They need to understand why you’re giving certain recommendations and how they can better their output. Offering summarized feedback is good, but it will only take them so far. You need to create ample time to walk them over their work and what’s expected of them.
5. Failure To Learn And Adjust
The world is changing, and so should you. It is not unheard of that most managers become complacent and rigid that they become unwilling to learn new ways of getting work done. This also kills the creativity and productivity of other employees who believe they have better ideas on how things should be done. Since the managers only feel like things must be done their way, the company ultimately suffers.
Great ideas are flexible enough to learn new methods of doing things and are open to ideas from anyone else. Today’s business landscape is changing too fast, and so are the techniques needed to solve current issues. Managers must be able to adjust to new strategies while always scouting for better solutions.
Enhance Your Skills To Avoid These Team Management Mistakes
There are many other team management mistakes to avoid, but these five are the most common causes for failed management. The best way to help you discover new and more effective management methods and other mistakes to avoid is by subscribing to some of the best distance learning platforms.