Whether you’re a newly appointed manager or one with extensive experience, managing a demotivated team is challenging, frustrating and time consuming. Here are 3 common management mistakes often made that result in teams being demotivated and unproductive:
1. Demonstrating a lack of interest in the person
Generally speaking, people spend more time interacting with their colleagues at work than they do with family and friends – people may be at home for 14 hours on a work day but they spend a significant amount of that time sleeping! So the workplace is an important place in their lives. People who don’t feel valued and supported at work become demotivated with a corresponding drop in productivity.
2. Refusing to address poor working relationships between team members
Most people dislike conflict. It isn’t the easiest issue to address as it has the potential to escalate or expand to involve others in the organisation. However, conflict can be successfully resolved and indeed avoided if addressed early. Disagreement is healthy as it can often lead to newer, more innovative suggestions being identified. When disagreement becomes entrenched or personalised it is unhealthy and a manager needs to tackle it immediately. Believing it will go away or resolve itself often leads to the issue escalating resulting in individuals withdrawing, taking sides or fuelling the fire.
3. Making assumptions that all is well
Managers are sometimes reluctant to ask the question “Is everything okay?” for fear that the answer may be “no”. Regularly asking the question allows individuals to raise concerns or issues early when they can be easily resolved. It builds stronger relationships between managers and team members enhancing communication and co-operation.
Tricia Cunningham is a partner and business advisor at LEAP.