Five common management errors and how to avoid them

A person’s management style has a significant impact on the whole team, both on the quality of work produced and their overall wellbeing. Becoming a manager requires a different skill set than being an employee, and this is something that doesn’t always come naturally straight away. But the good news is, it’s always possible for managers to learn and improve. Let’s take a look at some common management errors and how to avoid them.

1. Not leading by example

It’s one of the management errors that’s repeated again and again: “Do as I say, not as I do.” Managers are leaders, but some make the mistake of setting a bad example by not practising what they preach. Employees will look to a manager as a role model to understand what is expected of them within a workplace. If a manager works all hours, is stressed and burnt out, staff may follow these negative behaviours.
The key to creating a thriving work environment is promoting a positive work/life balance and leading by example. Managers who set boundaries (such as “no out-of-hours emails”) often find that the quality of work within set working hours dramatically improves.

2. Not delivering constructive feedback

Management is a balancing act, particularly when it comes to appraising work and giving feedback. A manager should motivate staff to help them reach their full potential. But a common management error is to get this wrong by being overly critical, which can be
demoralising to staff.

No one ever performs their best if they feel scared or shamed, so constructive criticism is a better approach. Managers should maintain an encouraging and supportive relationship with their employees, even during difficult conversations. If you have managers within your organisation who feel unsure of the best way to deliver meaningful constructive feedback, they could benefit from a course in managing and appraising performance.

3. Failing to set clear goals

Not setting clear goals in the workplace is a common management mistake, resulting in confusion, mixed messages and poor outcomes. To avoid this mistake it’s good for managers to communicate their expectations in the way that best suits their team, whether that’s in email bulletins, team talks, notice boards or another way.

When employees are clear on what is expected of them and what they are aiming to achieve, they are accountable for their actions and take ownership of their work more readily.

4. Inability to adapt to change

“But this is the way we’ve always done it” can be a dangerous phrase. Managers should always be open to learning, and one crucial management responsibility is to evaluate what is working well and where changes can be made for the better.

As the world’s landscape changes, industries change, and managers must respond by being flexible and adaptable. One way to stay abreast of changes in the industry is to invest in regular training and development. Focusing on managing change and innovation is another key way to ensure that managers are always open and able to adapt to new ideas.

5. Poor communication skills

Strong communication skills involve understanding how to speak so people will listen. The most effective managers talk respectfully to employees at all levels of the organisation, communicate clear instructions and are approachable when employees need to ask questions or clarify expectations.

Clear and confident communication is one of the core skills required to be an effective manager and can help your managers to avoid all five of the most common management errors.

Enhance and develop your management skills with Impellus

If you have people in your organisation who are new to management, or even experienced managers who haven’t had much formal training, a great way to help them avoid management mistakes is to book them on a Leadership Skills Development course. As the largest independent ILM Centre in the UK, we also offer a range of other line management and senior management courses.

Need more information? Just contact us today.