Managing Employees

7 Ways Toxic Managers Stifle Employee Motivation and Productivity

7 Ways Toxic Managers Stifle Employee Motivation and Productivity
Image credit: Alan Rampton | Flickr

The traditional "my way or the highway" style of management has given way to new management practices based on collaboration and trust. The new practice is to not not just tell employees what to do, but why they are doing it and how it fits within the company's larger structure.

By creating a company culture with a clear purpose and defined core values, your employees will feel they are connected to something larger and that they have a voice that is being heard. Such practices will help increase their productivity and engagement.

However, old habits can die hard. Here are some outdated practices you should leave behind.

1. Being a micromanager.

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, micromanaging an employee is an easy trap to fall into. However, you have to remember that if you hire smart, hard-working and talented people, you have to take off the training wheels and let them do their jobs. If you are going to do their job for them, then there’s no point in having them there.

Related: 6 Alternatives to Micromanaging Employees

2. Harping on mistakes and weaknesses.

Not focusing on your employees’ strengths and achievements is a definite way to make them apathetic and reduce their productivity. You need to keep a positive attitude to create a positive environment. While mistakes need to be dealt with appropriately, some positive feedback is necessary as well. Focus on their strengths and achievements to help them stay motivated.

3. Poor communication.

If you don’t listen to your employees’ feedback, concerns, and ideas, they will feel they don’t have a voice within the organization. Asking for their input empowers and makes them feel they are a larger part of the company. Two-way communication is a fundamental management practice every entrepreneur should follow.

4. Violating trust.

When you say we are going to do something for your employees and don’t follow through, you’re violating their trust. The best way to increase employee engagement, happiness, and productivity is to keep your promises. If you keep your word, it will help build trust.

Related: Multiply the Trust Factor Inside Your Organization

5. Inappropriate or offensive behavior.

Workplace relationships need to always be professional and respectful. Off-color or inappropriate jokes, comments or conduct that makes people uncomfortable can lead to costly lawsuits alleging sexual harassment or discrimination. Smart managers and entrepreneurs don't expose their companies to such potential problems.

6. Time-consuming meetings.

Holding meetings is a part of being in business. But there’s nothing more annoying than holding unnecessary meetings when employees are working under tight deadlines. Reserve meetings for important projects or announcements.

7. Unrealistic expectations.

Bombarding employees with constant tight deadlines and impossibly urgent requests on a consistent basis is a sure way to overwhelm and possibly lose them. As a manager, you need to set expectations for your employees which are realistic and achievable.

Related: 5 Signs You're Expecting More From Employees Than They Can Give