Sunday, October 2, 2011

Top 15 Mistakes Bosses Make

We all have them; bosses, in different shapes, sizes, of different temperaments and idiosyncrasies. A boss can either make or break your career and your happiness at work. It's not easy to be a popular boss, without feeling a certain sense of lack of control. However, by studying these common mistakes that bosses make, perhaps you can be a better boss.

1. Micromanaging Employees

Bosses can put their team members off badly when they assign a task and then start breathing down their necks till it's done. As a boss, you should make the effort to evaluate your team member's strengths and weaknesses and offer help only when it's required. When you micromanage, you are actually telling the employee that you don't trust his or her ability to do the task right.

2. Being Dictatorial

Some bosses tend to come down heavily on employees that don't toe the line. This kind of dictatorial treatment is extremely insulting and creates bad energy at the workplace, not to speak of high attrition levels.

3. Labeling Employees

A boss who labels his or her employees as slow, fast, useless, arrogant and a host of other attributes, sooner or later they see every effort put in by some employees via the label. Soon, the label becomes the employee and the employee becomes the label.

4. Intimidating Employees

Intimidating employees or threatening to fire them if they're not performing up to standard is an old trick that some bosses use to get better work done. Some employees might respond with fear and put in more effort, while feeling angry and browbeaten. Some employees will give up working and meet deadlines just to keep their jobs. Either way, intimidation does not win the boss any brownie points, since employee morale suffers, productivity suffers and eventually, the company suffers.

5. Demonstrating A Lack Of Empathy

Some employees do come up with false excuses to take time off. However, not everyone does this. A strong, empathetic boss knows who's genuine and who's not. Not displaying empathy where it's due brings down employee morale and also creates strong negative feelings in the employee base. Eventually the boss gets labeled as an unfeeling tyrant who's only bothered about output.

6. Being Inaccessible

Acting superior and being inaccessible causes several issues. A boss who is otherwise tied up should make efforts to note down an employee's issue and revert to him or her later. Then again there's the boss who suffers a bad temperament. He or she is inaccessible because of their shifting moods, which causes fear and nervousness in employees.

7. Not Providing Required Guidance Or Motivation

All employees need guidance, irrespective of their ages or experience levels. A boss needs to understand this and provide the relevant guidance and positive encouragement and motivation at timely intervals. A boss who misses out on this never knows what caused a particular employee to fail at their task.

8. Lack Of Transparency

Telling your employee half the story just to get the task done offers disrespect to your employee's intellect. Employees who are trusted with the large picture and the overall goal tend to take the goal on as their own and will work together with their boss to deliver.

9. Feeling Insecure About Their Boss Role

Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown. This adage is true of the modern day boss as well. Some bosses don't involve others in tasks that should be a team effort. They don't want to know that others can do a better job. They are scared of being replaced, which makes them very insecure. This insecurity, when internalized, can turn into unnecessary suspicion, paranoia and a high level of distrust.

10. Failing To Maintain A Balance

It's not easy being a boss; balancing professionalism with friendship towards employees is like a high wire act. For example, a boss who gets too friendly might expect too much from an employee. A boss who's very friendly with some and not so friendly with some creates a disparate environment with mixed emotions. Some bosses tend to favor certain employees that they like and this creates negative vibes within the team.

11. Making False Promises

Some bosses try the 'do your homework and I'll buy you candy' method to motivate employees. When the employee delivers, the candy's not in sight and probably never left the supermarket in the first place. This demotivates employees and results in attrition, data loss, data theft and other negative results.

12. Failing To Acknowledge Good Work

Bosses who are critical of bad performance tend to focus so much on the negative that they fail to notice the positive. By noting both good and bad work and providing timely and accurate feedback on both, you can motivate your employee to do better.

13. Indulging In Loose Talk

As a boss, you're entitled your peeves and issues. Confiding your troubles about employee A to employee B can cause all kinds of issues, not to speak of slander against employee, potential lawsuits and so on. At the very least, gossip mongers spread what you said and very soon everyone will know all the details.

14. Not Providing Timely Quality Feedback

Some bosses do not provide sufficient quality feedback, or explain the consequences of a task not done well. If at all they provide feedback, it comes when it's too late to do something about it. Timely, clear and sufficient feedback will help employees do their tasks well and prepare their roadmaps.

15. Providing Too Much Feedback

Some control freak and nit picking bosses tend to provide too much feedback and instructions, draining an employee's energy and motivation to work. These bosses also keep warning employees of how badly the product will be affected if they don't do this or that, or complete so and so task before deadline. This kind of behavior puts the employee on edge, giving rise to greater mistakes.

David Smith works for conversion rate optimization company Invesp and has expertise in the field of landing page design and testing, conversion optimization and lead generation.

Thanks to Valentine / Big Money Web

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