This week I started thinking about the bad managment behaviors that could quickly kill the moral of your workers. Luckily, I’ve dodged this bullet and havn’t had any horrible managers, but have seen my share of them and the havoc they bring on their teams. Some of these problems can be worked on and corrected and some are just personality defects and you can’t do a thing about them.
In today’s tech driven business enviroment, every manager I’ve ever ran into has had instant communication to their staff. It’s part of the corporate culture now a days, but I’ve seen the manager who answers emails depending on how important you are to them. Now don’t confuse this with they care, it’s just who can help them get to the next level. I’ve seen manager put filters on their email to “weed out” unwanted email from their inbox. The problem is, you are a manager, and you team may be shooting off questions for you to review and you’re disconnected and they will feel like you’re ignoring them.
The best managers that I’ve ever had, have made sure to check in with me, get an idea for what I was going and then left me to finish the job. I knew that if I had a question I could turn to them, and if they didn’t know they’d pass the information onto someone who did.
My Kingdom” Syndrome
I’ve been in meetings where managers squable over how many people they personally manage. To them their employee’s were nothing more than pawns in their own personal kingdom, and resented if someone had more pawns than they did. I often found these managers to not really have any real idea of what’s going on in their departments, their status was what they cared most about.
How many of us have had this happen at least once in our carreers (if it’s not you, it’ll happen)? I’ve seen managers accept unreasonable timelines, just to seem like a team player, any why not they aren’t the ones working to complete it, their staff is. Staff for some reason seem to really not like missing their families because you couldn’t say ahead of time you needed more time.
Managers can use praise (since money is rarely an option) to help motivate their employees, but I’ve seen this take two wrong turns. One being the random praise person, who just randomly praises people sometimes ignoring projects that were really tough and praising simple one page reports. You need to be consitant in your praise, so it seems like you’re paying attention. Secondly, I’ve seen the over praiser, who no matter what is praising people. You need to be even handed with praising your employees, over-doing it can make it worthless and under-doing it can seem like you don’t care.
I’ve seen some managers take a hold of an up a coming project and manage it into the ground. There isn’t an intentional killing of the project, but as a manager you need to trust that your team can get it done. Now I’m not saying don’t nudge the project here and there, and don’t just leave it to them but don’t take on more than is your role. You’re team is skilled and can get the project done, it’s why they work for you and your company, just don’t get in their way.