10 More Dumb Things Managers Do

Common Sense Behaviors Managers Can Exhibit Instead

Sad, frustrated, beautiful woman at work
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Perhaps the most basic function of any manager is to get the most out subordinates, but sometimes managers make bad decisions or develop bad habits that actually undermine the abilities of their staffs to do quality work.

As such, impediments to getting work done is one of the top 10 foremost reasons employees are likely to hate their managers.

If you want to become an effective, contributing manager, it's a good idea to make sure you are not engaging you can avoid the bad management traps that keep you from effectively managing employees and projects. Start with self-awareness as you consider your own management style.

1. Overburdening Employees

Requiring written reports and updates that gather dust on shelves, asking for written proposals before giving the go-ahead on projects, and holding endless meetings so you remain in the loop on everything is just plain bad management.

To be more efficient, decide what you need to know and when, establish a critical feedback path for each job and project, and hold your weekly meeting with your reporting staff members. Make sure the employees understand the goals and that they have enough information to make informed decisions. Then get out of their way.

2. Laziness

Employees who are responsible for picking up the slack of lazy managers are resentful and unhappy. Nothing makes a work environment seethe with negativity more quickly than a slacker boss.

Employees don't need to know every detail of everything you do as their manager, but they still should be able to see and define what you contribute to the team. If they don't understand your role, address that lack of communication.

3. Focusing on the Complainers

If employees who complain get most of your attention, you will turn all of your reporting staff members into complainers and whiners. This will occur especially if other employees perceive that the problems of the complainers are solved first.

This is damaging to motivation if your employees think that the complainers receive more resources and attention from you. Good managers are responsive to all of their reporting employees and prioritize problems and opportunities based on their impact on department goals and work.

4. Too Much Information

Your employees may listen politely when you talk about the details of your personal life—after all, who wants to be on the bad side of the boss? However, they really don’t care, and they really don’t want to know. Furthermore, excessive details can chip away at their respect for you and your competence as a manager.

It's OK to be friendly and to show your human side, but the main focus should be work. 

5. Mind Reading

Never make assumptions about what an employee is doing, thinking, or planning without asking the employee. Don’t assume that you know, or can conclude from what you see, that you understood what the employee meant. This is especially important in situations that might lead to disciplinary action. If you make false assumptions, you could irreparably harm your working relationship with an employee.

Instead of jumping to conclusions, get an explanation from the employee. It may turn out that the employee has a method of being productive that you don't understand.

6. Gossiping

Your relationship with the employees who report to you must remain confidential, and if it doesn't, whatever respect they had for you likely will be gone forever. Additionally, other staff members will disrespect you for taking part in gossip.

As a supervisor, you should be stopping office gossip, not participating.

7. Too Little Information

Some managers fail to communicate because they hoard information as power. Others fail because information gets lost in their day-to-day busyness. Other managers fail to understand or assess the impact of the information on the employees in their department. Whatever the reason for withholding information, it's counterproductive.

Employees need all of the information that you can offer to effectively perform their jobs, and you are the source of much of the information that your employees receive. They adapt much better to change when they know that the changes are coming. Make it a point to keep your staff abreast of changes or other relevant information, no matter how small.

8. Assigning Personal Work

Employees resent doing your personal work and it does not move your department any closer to accomplishing goals. Personal work can be anything running personal errands to completing tasks that should be completed by you as the supervisor.

Do your own job and run your own errands. Your employees will respect you more and be more willing to step up and do work that is actually relevant to their own jobs.

9. No Honest Feedback

Holding back information and not conducting performance reviews that would have helped an employee grow is just plain wrong. Additionally, misuse of an annual appraisal destroys employee trust and creates an environment in which employees are afraid to make mistakes. Telling an employee at the annual review that you are rating her 3 or 4 instead of 5 because everyone has room to grow is nonsense. Equivalently, telling a good employee that he is rated a 3 so that he has something to aspire to, destroys—not increases—motivation.

Every employee needs feedback regularly. Effective feedback occurs as close to the incident or occurrence as is humanly possible. It also should come as part of a regular performance review.

10. Indecision

A manager who vacillates about goals, changes his mind, moves the group in new directions based on new feedback at the drop of a hat, and never seems sure of the appropriate direction, will make employees crazy. These managers alienate employees who are asked constantly to start, restart, and change direction.

The best managers are leaders and provide their employees with the sense that they can be counted on to make decisions. The employees may not always like or agree with the decision, but they believe that the manager carefully considered the facts and reached a thoughtful decision. It is much easier to follow a manager who will make a decision and execute the required actions.