Top 8 People Management Mistakes Made by HR Managers

September 8, 20158:08 am1361 views

Many managers might be well qualified MBA graduates with relevant experiences in their careers, however when it comes to managing people they are mostly ill-equipped. Also more importantly managers lack sensitivity, values and awareness to deal tactfully and effectively with day-to-day employee problems.

It is easy to master theoretical knowledge and sometimes skills; however beliefs, attitudes and values should be ingrained and cannot be taught.  These are the underlying key traits that make for successful managers. When employees’ quit jobs, it is not because of the company culture, jobs or employers themselves – in most cases it is because of the ill-equipped manager, incompetent to handle the team responsibly.

The basic qualities that should be considered when recruiting managers in an organisation, besides checking for the cultural fit are – believes in two-way communication, values people, would like to create an environment wherein employees feel empowered to perform better, able to hold people accountable for their actions without the need to take any punitive measures, demonstrate leadership and one who believes in team work.

Here are some people management mistakes, even the most dumbest or successful HR managers commonly make. Understand them to prevent incidence of occurrence in the near future.

  1. Failing to know employees as real people: It is important to develop a relationship with the reporting employee. This is a key factor in managing people. While you may not be interested in knowing employee’s private life, but you should possess a fair generic idea on the happenings to get acquainted. When you know about an employee’s vacation or his kid scoring highest grade in school, this means you’re taking active interest to be a part of employee’s lives. Knowing employees will help you make a better manager to be responsive to their needs, moods and lifecycle events.
  2. Failure to provide clear sense of direction: Managers fail to set standards and clear expectations from employees to help them know what they are suppose to do. If you make every task a priority, then people in the team will soon believe that there are no priorities. Also, they will feel to have not accomplished a task or a goal. It is important for managers to neither be too rigid nor flexible enough to expectations. They need to draw a careful balance to lead and guide the workforce without dictating orders and destroying employee engagement.

See: Implying Neuroscience for Better People Management

  1. Failure to listen to employee’s opinions and feedback: Managers should be active listeners. It is a critical management skill and also a way to demonstrate that you value people’s opinions and feedback. Listening further provides recognition to demonstrate your sense of value into necessitated action. Hence, when employees feel they are heard, they know they are respected for their contributions. Soon you will have much more information than you asked for, as they open up to communicate with you.
  2. Failure to trust people: Most managers fail because they do not trust people for their jobs and this lack of trust pans out in a number of ways – like constant checking up on another, watching, tracking employees and admonishing staffers, only because of past experiences wherein few have been untrustworthy is not fair treatment to all employees. Employees feel the need to be trusted and valued at all times.
  3. Making decisions without asking for people inputs: When making decisions for the team empowerment, make it ‘by the team’ approach and do not put decisions on the hierarchical lines and create roadblocks that teach people quickly – their suggestions will be subject to veto and might not be prioritised as immediacy for improvements.
  4. Failing to respond to problems and issues with immediacy: Managers are generally into a habit of hopping around issues, hence some pertinent problems that need immediate attention often go ignored – such as employee conflict or disagreement if not called upon immediately for a discussion will set ablaze the team’s thought process into a different direction. Try to resolve it immediately with prompt responses.
  5. Failing to communicate and withholding critical information: Transparency is important element in clear communication to all employees. While certain data can be confidential in nature which is not suppose to be revealed to one and all. However, if all information you discover goes under wraps then there is very little efforts left for employee engagement and discussion on ideas for continuous improvements.
  6. Not treating all employees equally: This doesn’t mean literally you have to treat all employees the same way; however they must feel they receive equal treatment. The perceptions of pets at work or playing favouritism will only undermine your efforts further to manage people effectively. This also implies in the case of befriending employees which is a bad idea.

Always take responsibility for your actions as a manager and even responsibility for mistakes of your team members. Do not blame employee (s) when things go wrong, rather tackle the situation diplomatically.

If you throw your employee(s) to fall, then this could create a very bad impression about you as a manager leading the team. While you might not remove an iota of blame from your shoulders, your workforce and seniors will also begin to hate you. You could risk a lot more at the cost of jeopardising your career. It’s time to take stock of your actions and get better control!

Also read: Top 5 Tips for Effective People Management

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