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How Boss’s Shoot Themselves in the Foot

Many managers don’t realize that they make their job harder than it needs to be. Here are a few ways they do that and what to do instead.

1. Give more work to good employees and give poor performers a free ride – It is easy for a manager to take advantage of the employees who are easier to motivate and deal with by getting them to do more work. This eventually causes resentment in the good employee. In the meantime, the less driven employee gets away with doing less – this is especially aggravating when both employees are paid the same.

What should the manager do – give praise to the good employees and correct the performance of poor performers – the goal is not to punish the poor performer, just to correct their performance.

2. Give everyone the same job assignments – the boss can take the easy way out by giving everyone the same job tasks day in and day out. The manager is creating future problems for themselves because if the person who they normally ask to do a certain job is absent, then the manager is stuck when he or she needs to give the job to someone else. And the employees get bored which decreases their motivation and productivity and it becomes just a job. Managers should spread around the duties as much as possible to give everyone a new challenge to keep things fresh and build flexibility.

3. Make decisions the employees can make – the boss that needs everyone to bring them every little decision will quickly become overstressed and burned out, plus the employees are not accountable. In most organizations the decisions are made one or two levels higher than they need to be, often by managers who are too far away from the situation to make the best call every time. Instead, managers should coach employees to make decisions on their own. Initially the manager can begin by asking for employee input on decisions and then coach them through thinking about the consequences of their suggestion. As the employee shows the capacity to make the right call, the manager can release decision making authority to the employees.

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