Managers will inevitably drive their employees crazy. They’re people too. They aren’t perfect.
Andrew Saunders, writing on the U.K.-based website Management Today, recently compiled a list of the kind of behaviors managers, even if unknowingly, fall into. Enjoy and learn from these 5 ways managers are driving their employees insane.
Saunders explains, “an open door policy isn’t much use when your team is either at home, free-working in the local co-space or queasily emailing from the back seat of an Uber en-route to the airport.”
“Availability is now a cross-platform concept”, he says, “and now managers must master the art of doing it in about 15 different ways — from Twitter to Google Hangouts.”
Of course there is always face to face interaction. “Take them out for a coffee or a beer, and see what’s on their mind,” says Saunders. “Less open door, more open bar.”
2. Pulling Rank. Managers may try to pull rank to win arguments. Perhaps, they’ve assigned an employee to do a task not in their scope of practice. The employee may ask if this is necessary or why and receive the answer “Because I told you to” or “I’m your boss and you’ll do what I say”. This is not a Parent-Child relationship.
Saunders goes on “turn your pressing problem into (employees’) unmissable opportunity. In 2016, it’s much smarter to outthink someone than to outrank them.”
3. Lack of listening skills. It’s not enough just to take complaints. Managers must act when appropriate, even if this isn’t in favor of the one complaining.
4. Turning everything into a competition. Employees striving to do better is not the problem. Pitting workers against each other does not make for a hospitable work environment. Unhealthy competition may lead to a decrease in productivity and sabotage of fellow employees.
5. Being lenient with their own failures but concentrating on employee’s shortcomings. All mangers are guilty of this at some point, but it is damaging to the manager-employee relationship. Saunders states, “A lack of self-awareness is one of the biggest of bad boss habits.” Further, “remember their team is just as irrational when it comes to their weaknesses. So most will have been driven batty by their bosses’ inconsistencies at some point, just as most bosses will have been ready to cheerfully strangle some of their reports, too.”
Bottom line: Be available. Really take into consideration what your employees are saying. Do not belittle or pull rank. Remember this is not a competition, and be self- aware of your own imperfections. By implementing these few simple best practices, you will have harmony in the workplace and hopefully keep your employee’s sanity in check. (Oh yeah, and prevent lawsuits and those pesky phone calls to the DOL employees like to make when they are feeling mistreated in the workplace!)
Until Next Time, Be Audit-Secure!