5 Management Pitfalls That are Costing You Valuable Employees

A major topic that isn’t discussed enough in many industries is management. Organizations generally settle for a once-a-year seminar approach for their managers to get “trained” However, this approach has proven to be fruitless time and time again.

Poor management skills massively affect employee engagement and retention in a variety of negative ways. There’s too much information out there, not to take a hands-on approach. Here are five management pitfalls that are costing you valuable employees.

Poor Communication

Failing to communicate effectively in the workplace can be incredibly detrimental to a team’s bottom line. Lack of clarity on assignments, tasks and coverage usually leaves it up to employees to try and figure things out themselves. This opens up a team’s efforts to be run by assumption rather than fact.

Playing a guessing game about what needs to be done usually leads to gossip, resentment and discouragement of employees. When employees get distracted by gossip, resentment and discouragement they aren’t focused on the task at hand. When they aren’t focused on the task at hand, productivity begins to decline.

Poor communication can present major roadblocks for meeting stringent deadlines, accomplishing tasks and retaining employees.


When’s the last time someone told you they loved their manager and when they began describing the relationship, they proceeded to discuss how much micromanagement occurs? The truth is employees that thrive under micromanaging are few and far between.

Micromanaging leads to low morale, it’s demotivating, it stunts employee growth, productivity and creativity, and ultimately results in employee turnover. Employees need to feel a sense of autonomy in order to flourish in the workplace.

Once a goal or task is discussed, it should be left up to them to figure out how to go about reaching that goal. Managers need to stay focused on the higher-level trajectory of the team and stay out of the nitty-gritty.

Not Enough Coaching

Coaching in the workplace is a concept that is scarce in many industries. Regardless of the stigma it may carry due to its youth relative to other professions, applying the concepts of coaching to any team can be incredibly beneficial.

The characteristics of a great coach fall deeply in line with those of a powerful leader. Therefore, the use of these techniques will not only boost employee engagement and performance, but it will sharpen leadership skills for the manager that wields them. Coaching can provide numerous benefits to employees like self-awareness and purpose. Both of which are ingredients to high performance.

In addition, coaching can assist managers in identifying high performing employees, what motivates their employees and where their strengths lie. This allows for each employee to have a tailored experience where their strengths are focused on ultimately shifting productivity to reach new heights. It is clear the benefits of coaching extend far beyond employees alone and serve managers and organizations invariably as a whole.

Roles & Responsibilities are Vague

Without clearly defined roles and responsibilities on a given team, it is nearly impossible for each member to take full ownership of their project’s day in and day out.

It reminds me of doubles tennis. Each teammate must make a clear distinction on the court of what their role will be (front or back/left or right) and most importantly who’s responsibility it is to go for the ball on a given return. Without this understanding, ball after ball will be dropped eventually leading to a loss.

It’s the same in an office team setting. The manager is responsible for ensure each member of the team has a deep understanding of their position and what duties they must carry out. When a new task comes out, it must be delegated clearly to the appropriate person with their acknowledgement of understanding the details.

For some managers, roles and responsibilities seems like a given or that it’s obvious. Those are generally the teams where employees remain confused and information slips through the cracks consistently.

Lack of Constructive Feedback

One of the biggest mistakes made when managing employees is waiting until the annual or bi-annual review to provide feedback. If organizations are in the business of harboring high performers, the number of instances constructive feedback is given needs to be multiplied significantly.

Employees constantly desire feedback from their superiors to know they’re on the right track. In addition, it makes them feel seen and heard. Regardless of if it’s positive or negative, employees want to feel like the work they’re putting in matters enough for managers and executives to acknowledge it.

Not only will doing this help them improve but motivation and hunger to perform at high levels increases as well. This creates an environment where massive growth and potential manifest themselves greatly.

Final Thoughts

Management within an organization is a constant work in progress. It’s a dance that needs to remain dynamic and fluid throughout the life cycle of many projects. Equipping managers with the tools to succeed is of the utmost importance. This will increase frequency of deadlines hit and the motivation and productivity of team members.

If providing staff with proper management skills is not a priority for your organization, low morale, profit loss and employee turnover will wreak havoc. Give the managers what they need to help the employees succeed for you.

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