Newsletter - Learning Matters - No.24

Five most common mistakes made in management

Let's be honest - managing and maintaining a busy and successful team is not easy. It is, however, tremendously motivational, stimulating, challenging and fun. We can't always avoid making mistakes and it can be helpful to learn from them.

Here is our look at the five most common mistakes made in management- otherwise known as 'things you wished you'd known in the first place.'

Here are our top five management mistakes:

Let's start with recruitment:

  1. Failing to check references and qualifications
    One common mistake we make when recruiting is to take people at their word, even if our gut instinct tells us something is wrong. Make it part of the process to check out references (verbally where possible) and ask for proof of qualifications gained. Out of 6 managers we spoke to when compiling this article, only one asked new recruits for proof of qualifications and 3 said that they suspected people exaggerated their qualifications on their CV. Getting it right first time can save time and money.

    For a quick reference check form contact us and we'll be happy to provide you with one

  2. Training only when performance is 'bad'
    All too often training / coaching is corrective rather than motivational and developmental. Regular training and coaching can safeguard your company against errors and customer complaints, whilst increasing motivation and confidence levels. Regular product / systems training will keep skills updated and fresh while personal development training improves morale, teamwork and customer service.

  3. Telling, rather than Selling
    Managers are busy busy people... it's much quicker to tell the team what you want them to do than to engage their support and get them to facilitate the action themselves. Imagine a team who constantly relies on being told what to do... they end up with no initiative, no motivation, no creativity.

    So the key here is to sell, not tell. Consult the team and involve them in decisions that affect them. Ask them what they think, what they know, what they want. Explain the bigger (company) picture to them and let them see how they fit in. People are far more motivated to make changes when they have been involved in the decision making process.

  4. Hiring people who do not fit with the company's values and vision
    Can be a big (expensive) mistake because they won't fit in with the team and they won't stay with you in the medium/ long term. Managers sometimes go into 'panic' mode when recruiting and end up with people who may be competent and capable, but simply don't fit with or support the brand values or vision of the company. So how do we avoid making this mistake?

    Hold group interviews (this would be the next step after telephone interviews) where you give a brief presentation on your brand, culture, vision and value systems. Explain about the company vision and your expectations, get a team member to give a short talk on how they live the company values day to day. The group interview can be an opportunity to test attitudes, competence and behaviours through group exercises and tasks.

    After filtering out unsuccessful group interviewees, hold brief one to one interviews with potential recruits where you can drill down further into what makes them tick and how they would fit with your business

    Again, filter out those who do not 'fit' with your company and invite the others back for a final one to one interview. Ask them to prepare a short presentation on how they would support and reinforce your company values in their role

    For ideas on how to structure group interviews just contact us and we'll be happy to share our expertise with you

  5. Ignoring poor performance
    Dealing with under-performers can be daunting for many managers, particularly if the individual in question has not been taken to task previously by other managers in the company. Generally, poor performers do not suddenly change their behaviour or work quality overnight. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse and the rest of the team will be affected.

    Try to find out the reasons for below-par performance, give coaching where necessary to update and refresh skills, set clear objectives for improvement and review their progress regularly. Finally if all else fails, you may need to go down the disciplinary route and begin the process of managing them out of the business.

  6. If you would like us to train your Leaders or Managers please contact us on:
    +44 (0)118 987 5683

Learning Curve - Reading, Berkshire, England: +44 (0)118 987 5683

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