Want a Great Team? Stop Doing Stupid Things!
Why do teams not act like teams? Because sometimes managers do stupid things. For example, a manager attended an orientation meeting for some of his new employees. He gave a short five-minute speech and ended with, “I have an open-door policy.” Later that week I observed him yelling at an employee by saying, “Don’t you see I am busy here?! Never interrupt me again!”
10 Stupid Things Managers Do that Destroy their Teams
Here are some of the most obvious errors that turn employees off and cause them to start looking for another job.
1. Berate people in front of others.
Nobody wants to be embarrassed or deserves to being treated disrespectfully. “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers,” said Stephen Covey.
2. Flap your mouth and do not listen.
Managers hold lots of meetings. Our research shows that in two out of three meetings they hold, they do most of the talking and extraordinarily little listening. One study of 400 companies found that it costs companies $37 B a year in misunderstandings. Companies need leaders that listen and act.
3. KPI (Key Performance Indicators) people to death.
All companies need goals and plans. With the explosion of business intelligence data, better software and dashboards, everything is measured. It is overwhelming. Today, its focal point is often catching people doing things wrong. This does not build a high-performance team. Why not trust them to perform better?
4. Talk behind people’s back.
I have found that the “rumor mills” are often started by managers. Many times, they inadvertently criticize an employee or another department. They share this with someone who, really, does not need to hear the information. Sometimes it is malicious, used as a weapon of office politics to get ahead. However, these tactics only cause employees to resent leadership.
5. Treat people like children.
One manager in an environmental company likes to say, “Employees are like children. You need to give them a little candy or a swat on the a** once in a while, but keep them guessing what is coming”. With attitudes like this, no wonder employee engagement is so low in most companies. Good managers realize that employees are a company’s greatest resource. If you work with them as winners and trust them, they will get the job done well.
6. Hire someone for a job but do not help them win.
One company I worked with had this philosophy, “I hire you to do a job. Do it. If you do not, we will get someone else.” The company had no formal training for any job. Team was a foreign word. They did have high employee turnover. Check out Fortune magazine’s top companies. Most importantly, they all give employees tremendous opportunities for growth, learning and development.
7. Inconsistent or fuzzy expectations.
While you do not want to inundate employees with numbers, they do need to know what they are accountable for and how they are doing. One CEO recently confided in me, “We pay plans that could pay out a lot of bonuses, but we don’t always let people know how they could achieve them. So we save a lot of money”. In a different company, another manager was fired because of constantly changing goals that confused and demoralized his team.
8. Ask for input but do not use any of it.
This reduces the value of employee engagement surveys, and employee engagement. The input and data are collected, and it is never applied. No wonder leadership distrust is prevalent. Unfortunately, this happens way too often.
9. Play favorites with some employees.
Favoritism breeds resentment and destroys team morale. Companies like Indeed and Glassdoor provide company reviews and employee feedback. Employees’ comments show that favoritism does not build teamwork. They hate it, so stop it.
10. Too many rules.
When there are too many SOPs, policies and checklist, distrust will prevail. Distrust adversely affects employee attitudes and teamwork. With the explosion of data in the workplace many companies are adding layers of rules. Unfortunately, because how it is used, these eventually stifle employee creativity, productivity, and engagement.
Team Effectiveness: Pulling it All Together
In summary, managers that lead the way, communicate well. They treat people with respect and develop their team to achieve better results. They realize the above antics do not work. Above all, they create team success by doing what author Liz Ryan says, “Create a more human workplace.”
What would you add to the list?
Also, do you have team challenges or bigger goals to achieve? Go here for the complimentary dynamic eBook: Create a High Performance Team.
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Finally, do you want to accelerate your team leadership skills? Go here for Rick’s Superstar Leadership eBook.