In corporate leadership, for example, cultivating a real engagement of the staff is a prerequisite to success for an organization. When people just come and go, an organization is unable to maintain value, to hold a clear plan of goals and ways to achieve them.
Let us take a look at the most common mistakes leaders do that keep them away from building an efficient work culture and ensure sustainability of their organizations:
- Underestimating people: Poor leadership, in the aspect of Captains mistreating crews because they have the authority to do so, has been identified a contributing factor to several tragedies at sea. The same goes for employers-staff onshore, but here the latters actually have the option to leave. And then the organization can go down in the same way as a ship at sea.
- Forget to give credit: Sometimes, staff really enjoy their jobs and do it with pleasure and when they do so, they give 100% of their power. However, this is not the case when they feel that what they give lacks appreciation from their leader. Examples of such cases are when an employer takes the employee’s successful performance for granted by neglecting to give them credit for their effort. Another example is when skillful people are paid less than what they deserve in line with their skills.
- Cross the line of ‘teamwork’: Teamwork is a vital feature for a project to turn up successful, but this also considers a trap for leaders, who will probably find themselves unable to figure out the way of thinking of each team member and, consequently, fail to hold them into position. Constantly working in a team removes the sense of responsibility. In the contrary, one-on-one meetings are a great way for a leader to build relationships, while allowing each member to emphasize on personal improvement or to raise issues that are blocking them from performing better.
- Misunderstanding their intentions: Not everyone in lower managerial positions wants to climb the career scale and overturn their leader. Sneaky thoughts are a key to an unhealthy work environment that may push staff searching for another workplace. It is on the hands of the leader to ensure proper communication and clear assignment of roles, duties and responsibilities.
- Creating a feeling of insecurity: A leadership position comes with respective responsibility. Sometimes, the error of an employee is linked to insufficient instructions from the managerial section. Putting a disproportionate load of responsibility to another team member or hiding behind them when things do not go as expected, is indeed a recipe of disaster for a leader.
- Taking them off responsibility: On the other hand, creating a working environment that is too safe may generate the opposite results. When people feel that they will not be held accountable if they do a mistake, they take off responsibility by instincts. When they do not feel responsible for their actions, they are not so much afraid of errors.
- Building personal relationships: Involving in light conversations to reduce the staff’s stress and sharing personal information are two different things. When lower management staff engage too personally with their supervisors, the risk factor surrounding human relationships enters the game. And when relationships collapse, people are leaving; it is as simple as that. Respectively, personal relationships inevitably lead to bias: Allowing personal criteria to affect the interaction with individuals of the team is not something a successful leader would do; and definitely not a motive for the ‘underprivileged’ members to remain part of the team.
- Underestimating the value of bonding: It is not uncommon that managers function only by the numbers. They may look at short-term earnings but forget to look at the importance of investment in their people long-term. A delightful working environment is the perfect lure for an organization to keep its people, as an employee will think twice to leave a company where he/she has built fruitful relationships.
- Neglecting the importance of communication: Most times, leaders have multiple things in their mind and may not realize they forgot to communicate to their team members what they are really assigned with. For instance, the result for an organization is that staff do one thing, while their managers are expecting something else. This spurs confusion and stress for the staff who then must also handle the stress associated with poor performance and an unpleased boss.
- Generating a fear/ blame culture: Inefficient communication reflects fear. When people fear that their thoughts or ideas will face repercussions, they tend to be silent, hiding problems under the carpet, which leaves limited margin for these problems to come into surface and subsequently, be overcome. Remember, leaders look for solutions, not someone to blame!
A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit
- Arnold H. Glasow, American businessman and author.