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4 Mistakes Managers Make and How to Fix Them

Not another blog bemoaning the damaging effects of mismanagement. Say it isn’t so! Sorry, it is so. The fact remains, more often than not, great employees leave managers not jobs. Here’s the good news: keeping A-players can be as simple as correcting a few management mistakes and taking a few small steps. That’s worth putting up with another bemoaning blog, isn’t it?

Here are four mistakes that are easy to correct, putting you on the path to better retention, engagement and performance:

  • Treating every employee the same way

  • Focusing on weaknesses

  • Micromanaging

  • Failing to fit the right person to the right job

Don’t Treat Every Employee the Same Way

Wait, isn’t that just fair? Obviously, you need to be equitable when it comes to management. But one of the most common mistakes is to fail to recognize and capitalize on the unique differences of each employee. Painting everyone with the same wide brush eliminates any chance for personalities to set themselves apart and bring their individual talents to the team. Not everyone is motivated by the same things, and treating them as though they are can leave them feeling unappreciated, misunderstood and overlooked.

For example, assertive employees jump at the chance to exercise their power. They need managers willing to develop any potential leadership skills. Passive workers, on the other hand, prefer to stay in the background. A manager who adds assignments more gradually and gives concrete direction will keep these more prudent workers on board.

Don’t Focus on Weaknesses

Dwelling only on what an employee can’t do instead of what he or she can do is demoralizing. Uncover what really motivates an individual and benefit from the innate talent and specific strengths on your team.

For example, rather than growing frustrated with someone who takes his time and prefers routine, use this person for projects requiring patience and involving systematic processes. Chatty employees enjoy talking to people, so funnel client relations activities or telemarketing calls their way.

Don’t Micromanage

Most employees need some say in determining their own path when it comes to accomplishing objectives. They’ll want a varying amount of oversight, depending on their specific level of self-confidence and desire to take calculated risks.

For example, self-directing team members need chances to devise their own methods, improvise and learn from their mistakes. The worst actions a manager can take are to hover over them, tether them to stringent rules and become a constant presence in their day. Of course a general agreement on goals is in order, as well as checkpoints for feedback, but close scrutiny of everyday actions can make good, self-sustaining workers feel their manager doesn’t trust them.

More cautious employees want extra feedback from and interaction with their manager. Functioning as a resource and giving advice when asked can boost confidence. Provide clear instructions and reassurance that you know they can do the job. Monitor progress and offer input, but don’t do so to excess.

Do Fit the Right Person to the Right Job

Any worker mistakenly placed in an ill-suited role will struggle to meet expectations and, sooner or later, likely seek employment elsewhere. Good managers know the personalities of their team members and place each one in a role designed to play into their innate talents and interests. They set them up for success, instead of for failure.

Not everyone can function in high-stress situations. Not everyone can lead. And not everyone can withstand rejection.

Be sure employees hired to be producers exhibit the assertiveness, tenacity and resilience that job requires. Your behind-the-scenes service processors, on the other hand, need an analytical mind, penchant for details, and, perhaps, the ability to work alone for long periods of time.

Knowing who’s right for a job limits the risk of misunderstandings, disappointments and regrets.

Today, the typical workplace employs a wide range of individuals who are not only from various generations but also of different perspectives, cultures and backgrounds. With such an eclectic collection of personalities, it’s more important than ever that managers know how to correctly read people, trigger hot buttons and adapt to changing needs. The Omnia Assessment is your quick, accurate resource into the behaviors and intrinsic motivators of your team.

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About the Author: Carletta Clyatt, SVP, The Omnia Group, Inc.
Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group. She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, challenges, and behaviors. For more information about employee behavioral assessments, call Carletta at 813-280-3026 or email:

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