As a manager, your goal should be to motivate and educate your employees so that they not only exceed in the workplace, but come to regard you as a great boss. But if you're not careful, you could end up achieving the opposite effect -- alienating your staff and getting them to dread interactions with you. Here are a few manager habits you'll want to curb, because chances are, they're driving your employees up the wall.
It's one thing to check in on employees and make it known that you're available to them, but it's another thing to be perpetually breathing down their necks and hounding them for details on what they're doing and how their work is progressing. Cross that line, and you'll land deep in micromanagement territory, which is an easy way to turn your employees off.
Rather than be that nag, give your workers some breathing room unless there's a good reason not to. For example, if you have an employee who's been historically unreliable, then by all means, press that person for information and insist on frequent updates. Otherwise, let your workers be, and give them a chance to prove that they can be trusted to do their jobs.
2. Sharing non-constructive criticism
There's nothing wrong with giving your workers constructive criticism. Quite the contrary -- that sort of feedback can help them grow as employees, and as a manager, it's your job to facilitate that. But if you get into the habit of only sharing negative thoughts that don't include legitimate advice or action items, you won't be doing yourself or your team any favors. Rather, you'll come off as impossible-to-please and just plain mean.
3. Being inflexible
As a manager, it's natural to be wary of offering employees too much flexibility. After all, the last thing you want is for them to take advantage of that leeway and start falling down on the job. At the same time, refusing to be accommodating off the bat is a good way to get under your workers' skin, especially in a day and age when telecommuting and flexible scheduling is so ubiquitous. So rather than display a complete unwillingness to bend, offer up flexibility in small doses. Start by allowing employees to leave early for appointments or work from home on an as-needed basis, and see how that goes. If deadlines continue to be met and work quality doesn't decline, you can slowly but surely offer up more wiggle room to those who prove they deserve it.
4. Refusing to entertain new ideas
As a manager, you've earned the right to dictate how things get done at the office. At the same time, you owe it to your staff to be open to suggestions, especially those that are well-presented and thought-out. If you shoot down every idea your workers come up with, they're apt to grow frustrated very quickly -- and their performance might decline as a result.
5. Overscheduling your team
Meetings are a part of life in most workplaces, but there's a limit as to how much time your employees want or can afford to spend cooped up in conference rooms. Although meetings are often necessary and have the potential to be productive, don't forget that they might prevent your employees from doing their actual jobs. So be judicious in scheduling mandatory meetings, especially during busy periods at the office. Otherwise, don't be surprised when your employees react negatively to them -- and you.
Sometimes, being a good boss boils down to knowing what not to do. Avoid these mistakes, and your employees will have a better opinion of you on a whole.