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How To Turn A Possible Star Performer Into A Disgruntled Employee

Wednesday, January 05, 2011   By Mike Reddy


There are some common mistakes that managers make which disempower team members and make them seem moody and unresponsive.  It can happen with baby boomer managers and Gen Y or Gen X staff, but it’s not confined to generationally different workers by any means. Here’s how to turn a terrific team member into a frustrated poor performer.

1. Failing to agree on how the manager and team will work together

Don’t launch in with your helpful advice and ideas; first have a chat with your team about how they would like to be given feedback and suggestions.  Even better, ask them what they already know about the task before you begin putting your ideas in.

2. Failing to empower team members to do their work effectively

Recognise how annoying it is to continually interrupt someone when they're focused on their work. Micro-managing is very disempowering.

3. Failing to recognise and acknowledge good work

The good news for employers who are tightening their budgets is that out of all the ways to motivate employees to be more productive, a recent survey showed 62% say acknowledgement and recognition for their contribution is enough. Yet only 44% of respondents said this ‘pat on the back' culture exists in their workplace. Say thanks for a good job – every time.

4. Failing to respect the personal space of others

Invading somebody's personal space is a big leadership ‘no no’. This may be standing behind somebody, watching them work on the computer, getting too close to them... even searching through things on their desk.

5. Being rigid and inflexible

Avoid being rigid about the way things are done, just because that's the way it's always been done.  Be open to suggestions. There may be a new way of doing something that is an improvement.

6. Failing to recognize the impact of your  behaviour on others

Many people are oblivious to the impact of their own behaviour on others. Be aware of negative body language around you. If you’re not sure you’re good at picking up body language cues, read up on it in books like Body Language by Alan Pease which explains what to watch out for.

7. Not listening and speaking over the top of others

Not listening is one of the biggest mistakes a manager can make. Talking over the top of somebody makes it even worse. Managers need to show interest in what others have to say.

8. Assuming the reason for someone's behaviour

Ask questions about what is wrong, or why a person feels the way they do; don’t assume you already know.  You could very well be completely off track.

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.