In theory, when you manage a team, you surely also end up managing some underperformers. This can be really difficult and frustrating. At the same time, it makes it really hard to hit your goals. As this happens, everything will reflect really badly on your performance.
Responding to situations when employees are problematic is not at all something easy. This is especially true, according to German Trujillo Manrique, when the leader is actually the problem. Such a situation is so hard to deal with because the leader does not realize that he/she is the problem. If you want to know if you are the problem or your employees, here are some things to consider.
Goals Are Not Shared
The employee needs to know about personal goals. This is true both for them and for you. If the employees do not know what the goals are, what is considered a success and what is not, it is almost impossible to work together. If you do not properly communicate goals, you are the problem, not the employee.
Try to set up meetings as often as they are needed in order to discuss goals and get reports. You can definitely talk about goals during performance reviews but this is not actually enough.
No Feedback Is Offered
One of the biggest problems many first-time managers make is not offering feedback. They just get information and do not respond. Think about whether or not you offered feedback and how this happened. You need to offer real, constructive feedback. This all starts with constructive criticism.
Fear of giving is something completely real. However, as a leader or a manager, you need to offer feedback. If you do not, it is impossible to have a good working team under you.
Feedback Is Not Clear
Speaking about feedback, another thing that is really important is to be sure that what is said is actually clear and actionable. Most managers make the mistake of offering what they think is clear feedback, when the truth is that the other person does not actually understand. Whenever you offer feedback, be sure that employees understand or you are the problem.
Unfortunately, this is really hard to recognize. However, in many cases you end up juggling so many things that you end up sending mixed messages to employees. If during one week you tell employees to be independent and during the following week you ask about being more in the loop, your communication is inconsistent.
Always give actionable, clear feedback and keep notes on what is said during meetings. The more notes you keep, the easier it is to know what to do in the future. Remember that you have to talk about specific issues instead of about general things.
Everyone Is Managed In The Same Way
Last but not least, even the best bosses in the world can end up making this mistake. Remember that when you manage a team, you manage people with different skills and personalities. This is why your management style needs to constantly adapt. You will manage people that want structure and people that enjoy freedom. Be sure that you do not treat them the same.