Being a business manager is a tough, often stressful job. We’ve compiled a list of expensive mistakes many business managers make, along with some advice on how to avoid them:

1. Micromanaging

Employees who are constantly monitored will become demoralised and tend not to produce their best work. Looking over an employee’s shoulder can lead to a decline in morale and may cause people to leave, which can become costly.

How to avoid this:

Learn to delegate. Trust your employees to do their job well and give them the space to do so. Your way is not everyone’s way, and that does not mean their way is less valuable.

2. Not setting clear goals

Team and individual goals should be made clear for your staff. A lack of clear goals can lead to chaos and a lack of progress in your business.

How to avoid this:

Set realistic goals that harness employees’ natural abilities.

3. Lack of patience

Brushing people off because you feel you have more important things to do will demotivate employees. In the long term, this slows down the workflow and costs your company time.

How to avoid this:

Explain things properly and patiently so that your employees understand how to do what is required. Don’t get impatient doing so. This is part of your job.

4. Neglecting customer service

One of the most expensive mistakes you can make is not ensuring that your customers or clients are treated well. This is not just up to your employees. You can put procedures in place to facilitate efficient customer service within your business.

How to avoid this:

Consistently tailor your processes to best accommodate your customer or client base.

5. Playing favourites

While you may have better relationships with some employees than with others, this cannot affect how you treat the people you work with.

How to avoid this:

Never compare employees or their work. Do not pit people against each other, as you can lose great employees this way.

6. Not adapting to a changing market

In order to keep abreast of changes, you need to know how your industry is evolving. Getting stuck in one way of doing things can be damaging and ineffective in today’s changing world.

How to avoid this:

Experiment with new methods and be flexible in order to stay relevant. Embrace significant changes in technology.

7. Forgetting to be a leader

Bossing people around instead of working with them is a common leadership mistake. A manager who does this will never earn employee respect or receive the best output.

How to avoid this:

Lead by example.

8. Poor communication with employees

Being inaccessible, and failing to make time for employees and their concerns, will strain your relationship with your team. It can also cause missed opportunities.

How to avoid this:

Have regular face-to-face conversations. Get to know who your employees are. You might be surprised at what people can contribute.

9. Being a know-it-all

Your employees will be better at certain things than you are. That’s the point of having them.

How to avoid this:

Allow employees the space to develop their own ideas, suggestions and talents. Don’t shoot them down.

10. Neglecting your overall business vision

Each team member is an important part of a broader company mission. People need to know how and where they fit into that vision.

How to avoid this:

Ensure that staff members know why they’re doing what they’re doing. Employees will be more productive knowing how their work affects the overall success of the business.

11. Being a pessimist

It’s unfair to expect employees to be optimistic when their manager is pessimistic. Having confidence in the workplace instils confidence in those who work with you.

How to avoid this:

Maintain the kind of attitude you want to see in your team.

12. Forgetting that you are accountable

While you get the credit when your team produces excellent work, you are also responsible for their shortcomings. When things go wrong, you can’t play the blame-game. The responsibility will always fall on you.

How to avoid this:

Sufficiently train your team to do what you expect from them. Learn from all mistakes and provide enough feedback for your employees to do better in the future.

13. Not motivating or appreciating

Taking good work for granted is the easiest way to decrease morale.

How to avoid this:

Give personal recognition for great work. Acknowledge teams that are doing well. Encourage those who might be struggling.

14. Allowing stress to consume you

A manager needs to keep a clear head. A consistently stressed, overwhelmed, or highly strung manager will negatively affect the work environment.

How to avoid this:

Take time out if you need to. Smile (genuinely). Don’t be the person your employees dread seeing every day.

Do you dream of becoming a business manager?

You might be interested in doing a Business Management course to equip you for your future role.

Click here to find out more