5 Management Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making

The dictionary defines management as, “the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.” Sometimes, managers don’t understand why their team does not function cohesively. Below are five management mistakes managers don’t realize they’re making and tips to avoid these missteps.

1. Failure to provide clear direction

One of the hallmarks of somebody with effective leadership skills is the clarity with which they give directions and set expectations. When a manager does not fully explain the goal(s), and the desired steps to reach the goal(s), the process is open to various interpretations by the team members. Performance and morale are improved when workers know why they are doing what they are doing. Knowing the why will also help to clarify how to get the task(s) done.

2. Failure to respond to problems and issues

Ignoring and avoiding problems does not make them go away. Instead, it makes them worse. It’s vital for managers to know about payroll and systems issues, personnel problems, and environmental elements that affect the performance of their team. When managers ignore legitimate complaints from or about their teams, it erodes the trust that everyone has for the manager. Managers must learn how to manage if they want a successful team.

3. Favoritism

Routinely giving more attention to one or two team members, will negatively impact your team. Employees notice who seems to get by with coming in late and leaving early. They see whose ideas get attention, and whose are ignored. They note the complaints that get addressed and those that don’t. It is important for managers to give equal attention to complaints, job performance, and accountability.

4. Friendships

Developing friendly relationships with your team members is a crucial part of management. There is a difference, however, between being friendly and being friends. Knowing a few basic facts about your team members lives such as their family status, and hobbies, helps create a pleasant work atmosphere, and it could help you respond better to their needs.

When you are in a leadership position, and you opt to develop personal relationships with employees who report to you, be aware of the possible consequences.

  • You may need to counsel or even fire your friend as an employee. Will you do it? How will it affect the friendship? It’s a rare individual who can seamlessly move between friendship and boss/subordinate, on a daily basis.
  • Favoritism can quickly become a part of this type of relationship. Will you expect more from your friend on the job, or will you let your friend do less? Will your friend expect to be less accountable as your subordinate?

5. Misunderstanding motivation

Inspiring your team to give their best is essential to the overall success of your team and the project. When people enjoy what they are doing, or when they get rewards for their efforts, they tend to do a better job. When considering ways to motivate or reward those you manage, remember that people are different, and what motivates them varies. Some of the possible ways to galvanize your team include:

  • Employee recognition. Some people take great pleasure in public presentations of certificates that acknowledge their achievement. Others may enjoy a designated parking place, if possible, for a predetermined amount of time. A posted photo of “Employee of the Month” is positive recognition also.
  • Financial bonuses. Pay raises based on performance reviews is also a motivator. Another means of financial reward is a one-time bonus for a particular project.
  • Time is valuable to some people, and they would possibly appreciate a day off in appreciation of a job well-done. The ability to flex their work schedule is also an attractive motivator.

With well-managed people and resources, the goal of the group or the team is successfully obtained.

By JP George

About the author


JP George grew up in a small town in Washington. After receiving a Master’s degree in Public Relations, JP has worked in a variety of positions, from agencies to corporations all across the globe. Experience has made JP an expert in topics relating to leadership, talent management, and organizational business.

Photo: Chain Broken Stress by Shutterstock.com

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