Kill Employee Engagement and “the Moment” with These Three Common Management Mistakes

Small Things are Big Things

The adage is that employees don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. In a way, when an employee leaves, she's firing her organization. Killing employee engagement with these niggling habits can lead to desertion.

Here are three common management mistakes that can kill a moment – and employee engagement.

“OMG, look at her butt”: Your team just executed a project after months of hard work. Almost everything came out just as planned or it hoped to be. Almost.

Everybody is celebrating. As a leader, you are already seeing what could be better, how, next time, they can improve. So you say, “Great work, but next time …”

Did you see that?

Your employee engagement just took a nosedive and splattered on the sidewalk. Think Sing and that Nicki Minaj attitude: OMG, look at her butt. It’s your but that just killed the moment.

When we say, “but,” it negates the first part of the sentence. Think of the dating scene. “I really like you, but I think we should be friends.” The hum of the phrase after the but is what sticks. The “I really like you” is little more than a platitude to try to cushion the splatter.

The same goes for employee engagement and celebrating your team. There’s a time and place for everything. Celebrating your team should be that … to celebrate. After the champagne, over the next few days, you’ll have plenty of time to reflect about the project and come up with action plans to better it.

But in the meantime, celebrate!

Doing the Steve Jobs Nag: As much as we admire Steve Jobs for his gumption, vision, drive, and success, word is he was pretty annoying. Micromanaging is not the way to go. A workplace needs to be horizontal where everyone feels a sense of purpose and autonomy to get their job done.

So next time you feel a hover coming on, step back. You cannot be a helicopter manager and be effective. Let your employees do their jobs.

Things are getting vague: Where do I stand in this relationship? We just don’t talk anymore. It’s like you don’t value everything I do. This is something we’ve all experienced when it comes to romance. But how different is the workplace?

When managers are unclear about their expectations for employees, a huge sense of insecurity arises. Add poor company communication and reticent managers, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for failure.

A key part of employee engagement is communication, as it is with any relationship. That means creating clear expectations, have a strategic communication plan, and connecting with employees. This takes time because employees aren’t this amorphous body of beings who feel and respond the same about everything. Setting the bases for strong relationships also creates a culture of engagement. Employees who feel connected are connected and more productive.

Great management doesn’t “just happen.” Creating a manager training strategy should be an investment each organization makes . And if you feel you’re falling short on any of these things, step back and reflect – take a hard look at your managing style.

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