Managing Is Hard Work: Avoid These Four Mistakes

Sections of this topic

    Many are promoted into management positions because they do their present job well, perhaps better than others on the team.

    Unfortunately, many new managers are just thrown in without training and then left to sink or swim. Some make it; some don’t.

    Avoid these four mistakes that many new supervisors make. Included are comments from supervisors who are or have been in your shoes.

    1. Not hiring the right people from the start.

    • “Hiring people who are too similar to me has been a mistake.”
    • “I didn’t pick up in the interview that they were exaggerating their experience and I got burned.”
    • “I encouraged a group manager to hire an internal candidate when an external candidate was better qualified.”

    2. Letting poor performance go unchecked.

    • “I kept someone on who should have been let go.”
    • “I didn’t recognize that someone was in way over her head.”
    • “Keeping a person in a position where he failed was my biggest mistake.”

    3. Not realizing the importance of employee recognition.

    • “I didn’t give credit when it was due to individuals who made major contributions.”
    • “I failed to acknowledge someone who needed to be rewarded. I have regretted that for years.”
    • “I didn’t give enough praise to someone who turned out to be one of my best employees and she left.”

    4. Not pay attention to what’s going on with staff.

    • “I didn’t pick up on signals from disgruntled employees.”
    • “I regret not seeing the signs that someone was going to leave.”
    • “I failed to clearly understand an employee’s situation and ended up losing him.”

    Management Success Tip:

    Many new managers fail to reach out for help thinking they have to be all-knowing. Soon they find themselves dealing with one crisis after another. This can lead to a failed project or, even worse, the loss of their job. So, don’t be the Lone Ranger. Quickly acknowledge what you don’t know or are uncertain about. Then find those around you who have the experience or knowledge to guide you. This accomplishes two things: It recognizes them for their expertise and gets them committed to your success.

    Readers, what success tips do you have for new supervisors or managers?

    Do you want to develop your Management Smarts?