Our CEO, Barry Whelan, featured in this month’s issue of ShelfLife magazine discussing the final part of the top management mistakes series. Check out what he had to say below:
Continuing last month’s series on management mistakes, Excel Recruitment’s Barry Whelan outlines 11 more errors managers should avoid in the pursuit of keeping staff members happy, motivated and productive.
When candidates come to Excel Recruitment looking for a new role, we zone in on their ‘reason for leaving’. We want to understand completely why the candidate wants to move job, so that we can find the right new job for them. One of the reasons that comes up consistently in the top five is frustration with a manager or poor management. Here are the second set of the top bad management mistakes that can drive an employee out the door.
For all those managers out there interested in improving their ability to manage others, take heart in the fact that you’re only human. I know I for one have made every single one of these management mistakes at some point or another in my career. Let’s start with another personal favourite of mine!
1) Belittle their team over things, both significant and insignificant:
When a soft deadline is missed, this manager raises it at a staff meeting by throwing their hands up and remarking about how everyone’s incompetence will ensure the closure of the organisation! The dramatic manager who makes mountains out of molehills is a prime example of a bad manager. While a good manager should never ‘lose it’ with the team, they may be forgiven for doing so in a crisis, but not for something insignificant.
2) Passive aggressiveness, reminding the team of the power they hold over them:
This manager does things like often making “jokes” about firing people, then laughs it off, like they want to show their team that they have a great sense of humour, but, at its heart, this behaviour is bullying.
3) Active aggressiveness:
In a team huddle, this manager makes comments such as: “I know you have all performed really well and the business is performing, but we are only as good as last month and if anyone drops the ball, they will know about it.” Using direct threats and fear as motivation does not have a place in modern professional management.
4) Cross personal boundaries:
The risk of crossing personal boundaries arises easily in social occasions involving work. How many employees have woken up the morning after the dreaded office Christmas party with a completely different impression of their manager, who drank too much with the staff or became their pal at the party, before reverting to the previous relationship status come Monday morning as the boss.
5) Physically invade people’s spaces:
No physical contact is permissible anymore. If a member of staff is upset in front of their manager, while human nature might illicit a response like a hug, this is a no-no. A bad manager invades an employee’s space. The employee takes a step back and they take a step forward. An employee asks for personal space, and they don’t give it and stand too close when talking.
6) Delegate autonomy, without meaning it:
They tell you they want you to make the decision. They don’t want to be involved or indeed need to be, because you have the experience, and you are driving this project. They then take your decision, and go and change everything, without bothering to explain why. This is so deflating for staff.
7) Play favourites with team members, and make it obvious:
This manager takes the same team member out for lunch every week; they make a big deal of their birthday, but not others. They play favourites and do not operate in a fair and equitable manner. This causes resentment and a poor team environment.
8) Criticise team members in front of their team:
A critical tool of performance management is to criticise a team member away from their peers. This should be done outside of the process. Criticism should be given one-on-one and should always be constructive. Whilst public humiliation means everyone gets to learn, it is a sure way to make an employee have a browse through job boards.
9) Become defensive at the slightest constructive feedback:
The bad manager asks for feedback in meetings and then bullies and belittles everyone who opens their mouth. Then when people don’t contribute to meetings, they act passive aggressive about it: “I guess no-one has anything to add and we’ll just have to go with my plan.”
10) Multi-task while interacting with others:
This behaviour of a bad manager is very insulting to the team member. Clearing email while in an important conversation or taking calls mid meeting makes team members feel their input is not respected or indeed needed.
11) Take credit for employees’ ideas and work:
No decision is made, or action is taken, that isn’t the idea of the manager. A bad manager will only carry out an idea that they believe is their own. How many managers have you had whereby you had to make them believe an idea was theirs to get it implemented!
If you would like to read the full March 2022 issue of ShelfLife magazine you can do so by clicking here.