7 Caustic Management Behaviors to Avoid

Want to drive off your best and brightest? Here's exactly what to do, or, actually, not do.

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By Beth Miller

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The number-one reason employees leave a company is because of poor management, period. And most anyone who's ever worked can relate to that statement. Each time I've left a position, the reason hasn't been because of low pay or poor benefits. Instead, I left because of what my manager did to disengage me.

Related: 14 Management Do's and Don'ts to Motivate Employees

From my experience, here are the top seven management behaviors that cause great employees to leave for greener pastures:

1. Not keeping your promises

If you aren't keeping your promises, how can you expect those around you to keep theirs? This behavior can breed a culture that tolerates a lack of accountability within a team. And lack of accountability will lead to poor team performance. It will also decrease the trust others have for you.

2. Ignoring poor performers

Poor performers on a team can de-motivate your good and great performers. They'll impact the work of others on the team as well as the overall success of the team. The longer you wait to address this poor performance, the higher the risk you'll have of losing your high performers.

3. Having irregular meetings

When managers make the choice not to have regular team meetings, they send a signal that communication among team members isn't important. And when a team isn't communicating on a regular basis, chances are that its members aren't included in key decisions, progress updates and learning from one other.

4. Dismissing the opinions and ideas of others

No one likes a "know-it-all," and when a manager dismisses the ideas of others, the message being sent is that he or she is smarter than others on the team. Over time, people will stop sharing their ideas, and innovation will shut down. Ultimately, you'll lose your competitive edge.

Related: Move Away From Shame-Based Management to Inspire Productivity

5. Micro-managing

Do you believe that there is only one way to accomplish a task and that you need to make all the decisions? People will probably then refer to you as a control freak or, a nicer term, a "perfectionist." In the long run, you'll be showing others that you don't trust their judgment. Many will start to rely on you for all the solutions, and the next thing you'll know, you'll be doing all the work for your team.

6. Displaying arrogance

Just because you are a manager doesn't make you king (or queen). Do you lecture and talk down to your employees? Or are your employees always "the ones making the mistakes," rather than you? Arrogance can show up in the form of arriving late to meetings and wasting other people's time. The bottom-line effect: Arrogance shows a disrespect for others.

7. Not delegating effectively

As a manager, your number one job is to get work done through the efforts of others, which means you have to delegate. Many new managers are challenged with this responsibility, whether it occurs through planning or in real time.

Some managers actually view delegating as risky. And a reluctance to delegate is often driven by fear: a fear they'll lose control, lose their reputation as the "expert," or have to face the unknown. Remember that delegating is much more than handing off a task or decision; it requires understanding whom to delegate to; how much information needs to be shared; and how often to follow up on a person's progress and status.

Any of these sound familiar to you? If so, make a plan on how you can change these behaviors to avoid the risk you'll lose your top performers. And, finally, remember that changing behaviors takes discipline, commitment and time.

Related: 7 Ways Toxic Managers Stifle Employee Motivation and Productivity

Beth Miller

Leadership Development Advisor, Speaker, Executive Coach

Beth Armknecht Miller is a certified managerial coach and founder of Executive Velocity Inc., a boutique firm offering talent management and leadership development solutions. She chairs a monthly Atlanta meeting for Vistage, a company that hosts advisory meetings for small business CEOs. Her latest book is Are You Talent Obsessed?

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