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Bad Habits of Management

Today, I got a phone call and the employer on the phone said, “I have a problem. I have an employee who I must fire, and I want to know what it’s going to cost me?” Unfortunately, this call happens more often than I care to mention. My response is always the same, “Wow, what did they do?”

95% of the time it is not just one incident, but a pattern of behaviours, attitudes, and unchecked poor performance that leaves management in total frustration and at the point of wanting the employee gone.

If you find yourself wanting to fire someone, you will soon learn that it is often the bad habits of management that are your roadblock, and what makes this action so costly. To protect yourself from a potential situation like this in the future, here is a sample list of bad habits to avoid if you are a manager:

  • Correcting the actions, work or performance of an employee and not writing it down

  • Ensure you include date, time, a summary of the issue, and what the corrective actions agreed upon were

  • An employee signature is great, but don’t worry if you cannot get it

  • You should be documenting every time, not just when you want to fire the person because of your frustration

  • Ignoring the poor performance of a worker or group of workers, assuming it will get better

  • That does not work; address the issues and clearly outlined required action

  • Make sure this is written

  • Check-in with employees and ensure corrective measures are working

  • Show no favorites

  • Just because Sue always picks up the last-minute shift does not mean you can ignore the bad performance and sloppy work

  • Treat all employees equally; praise, commendation, coaching and mentoring

  • The enforcer is not effective; be the coach!

  • Train your workers to be the best they can be!

  • Lead your team, set an example of what you expect and need

  • Potty Mouth, Hot Temper and Angry Stares are bad habits to avoid

  • Do not discipline anyone for rules they are not aware of, training they have not received, or processes not understood

  • Stop expecting perfection and learn to use mistakes as a “coaching” opportunity!

The best thing you can do as a manager is remember the best managers, teachers and coaches you had in your life. What did you love about them? Emulate their best habits and traits!


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