These Management Myths are Holding Your Team Back Don't bribe, back-down or hover.

By Nina Zipkin

Office Space | 21st Century Fox

Making sure your employees feel motivated will allow you to meet your goals and retain people who care about the company's mission as much as you do. In managing your colleagues, here's how to keep your team productive while bolstering morale.

Myth: I have to watch them like a hawk.
Reality: It's natural to want to stay on top of your team, however, hovering will stress out your team and keep you all from doing your best work. For best results, hire people you trust to help carry out your vision with their skills and creativity. But just make sure you are clear about what you need and be available for regular check-ins and feedback.
Read more: 6 Alternatives to Micromanaging Employees

Myth: I'm more of a friend than a boss.
Reality: A positive rapport is important in the office. But more important for employees is for them to respect and have confidence in how you approach your business. If they feel like they can trust you, they will be motivated to do what you ask of them and devote the time and attention to detail to make a great product.
Read more: The Harsh Truth: Your Employees Don't Care About Your Business the Way You Do
Read more: 5 Signs You're Expecting More From Employees Than They Can Give

Myth: I need to bribe people with perks.
Reality: It is possible to go overboard on office perks. The video games, ping pong tables, gym memberships, happy hours, free lunch, massages, cleaning services, fancy retreats are nice, but they aren't essential for building loyalty. Instead, keep office doors open, not closed. Create informal ways to update staff about the company. And find ways to bring your team together, like a common table for eating lunch or a space for impromptu meetings. Making it easy for your staffers to meet and listen to each other will keep them focused on collaborating and forging bonds.
Read more: 5 Employee Motivation Myths Debunked
Read more: The Surprising Perk Employees Want That Costs the Company Nothing

Myth: I'll save that feedback for the yearly review.
Reality: Your employees won't feel motivated if they only hear from you when something goes wrong, or they don't hear from you at all. Consistent constructive feedback and dialogue will keep your colleagues on the right track. If you do want to make the formal check-ins a part of your leadership style, make sure that you don't dwell needlessly on since resolved issues or comparing your employees to one another. Make it about personal growth and development. Talk to them about what they want to accomplish, how that aligns in the larger goals of the company and go from there.
Read more: You Can Know What Employees Are Doing Without Being Big Brother

Myth: To keep my staff happy, we can't disagree.
Reality: While adversarial talks aren't constructive, well-reasoned debate can help your company expand. You'll grow, by listening to different viewpoints, and understanding more about your staff's capabilities. And your staff will grow by understanding your vision. Rather than backing down from conflict, accept that it's part of the innovation cycle and create an environment where people are comfortable expressing their ideas – but where they can respect the reasons why one decision was made over another.
Read more: 4 Ways to Reignite the Flame with Burned Out Employees

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

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