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EVERYBODY makes mistakes – even managers. Mistakes are a fact of life and help us to grow at a personal and professional level.
If there’s one thing all successful agribusiness leaders know, it’s that making mistakes can be a hugely positive learning experience.
If you are a manager or leader responsible for motivating and mobilising a team of employees – large or small – working anywhere along in the grains industry supply chain, you may not actually be able to afford to make management mistakes, especially when never-ending staff turnover and disillusioned employees are the result.
However, there are some management mistakes that can be easily avoided if you’re aware of them.
Here’s a valuable Top Five list:
Don’t expect too much.
If you’re under the assumption that your employees are going to think and act like you and then you reprimand them when they don’t, you’re making one of the first mistakes. As a manger (often also owner), you may live and breathe the company vision and be willing to pour every ounce of your energy and time into making it successful. You may be willing to sacrifice holidays and family time, and lose sleep in order to keep your business growing.
The problem occurs when you expect the same level of dedication from your staff. Employees aren’t always driven by the same motivators that you are. You simply can’t expect staff to think and work like you do.
Don’t forget about employee motivation and drive.
If there’s one thing that everyone needs to be productive at work, it’s motivation.
It’s quite simple: high employee motivation results in more engagement, less sick-days, greater collaboration, better employee satisfaction and staff retention. Low employee motivation leads to behaviours such as frustration, disappointment, low productivity, less loyalty and greater risk of losing staff.
Failing to understand the value of motivation is one of the key mistakes in people management. Many managers think that monetary benefit is the only motivation a person needs, but this is not always true.
Some people seek a high work/life balance and are driven by the chance of stability and predictability in their vocation. Other, more goal-driven employees need freedom from authority, big-picture projects and a varied and more exciting work environment which is constantly changing.
Don’t value your work more than the work of others.
We all like sticking with what we know – it’s a natural tendency. We know every decision, every detail, every step, and every ounce of effort that goes into our roles. And we assume it’s too hard for anyone else.
It can be difficult to let-go of certain tasks and entrust them to your employees, but by not delegating can lead to even bigger problems. Not delegating is a prime reason why managers fail. By assigning tasks to workers, you’re not only showing them you trust their judgement and value their input, but also ensuring your workload doesn’t being overwhelming.
Don’t forget to give employees clear expectations or reviews
Staff need to be provided with goals – something to work toward and achieve. This will help them feel motivated, which, regardless of your business’s size, should boost its productivity and increase engagement. It could also help ensure employees stay with your business for longer.
Your employees know their work anniversary date. As a manager, you should too. If employees sense that they attach more importance to their job than you, they’re going to be disappointed if their anniversary date comes and goes without an appropriate annual review.
Make a point of setting clear expectations for employees to achieve. Staying on top of review dates gives you the ability to address performance problems and offers the opportunity to give valuable praise to employees you’d hate to lose.
The danger of poor communication.
We all know communication is key when it comes to management. Employees should always be up-to-date with anything that’s happening in the business that might affect their work.
Managers tend to ignore other areas critical to success, and often over-manage their area of expertise.
Most managers have their hands full bringing in and developing businesses that exceed their clients’ expectations. By avoiding the worst management mistakes, you’ll have more time to devote to the tasks that really matter, and developing employees that are motivated to help you achieve your business’s goals.