10 management mistakes that kill team’s motivation

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Here are 10 ways to crush the good energy you and your team have built.

  1. Taking projects away from one person and giving them to someone else without careful consideration of the effect of your shift on both employees and the team.
  2. Inviting a few chosen team members to have long, closed-door brainstorming sessions with you about the direction of the department, and leaving everyone else to wonder what you’re planning.
  3. Losing your temper and yelling at an employee, even in anger, and even rarely.
  4. Talking about one employee with another employee who is not a manager or an HR person.
  5. Promising your team or one team member you will do something important — approve their vacation schedule, allow them to work from home sometimes or send them to an industry conference, for instance — and then not doing it.
  6. Blaming higher-up managers for unpopular decisions. As a manager you have to own every decision, policy, budget, plan and guideline that comes down from on high, because you are part of the management team. No one is forcing you to go to work every day. You can’t abdicate your responsibility by saying “It wasn’t my decision.” Who would respect a manager who said that?
  7. Stabbing an employee in the back, even inadvertently. If you throw someone under the bus, walk them out the door when they try to give two weeks notice or bushwhack an employee in some other way, your team’s trust in you will vanish.
  8. Pushing on your team to produce results and hit targets without listening to and acting on their concerns and needs, too.
  9. Blaming your employees when something goes wrong.
  10. Failing to value your employees’ obligations outside of work — many of which are more important than anything on their desks at work.
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