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The most common errors of management and how to correct them

Prunella Clough, Flowers Gallery

On BusinessWeek.com, Aubrey C. Daniels lists some of the most widely used but ineffective management practices, and suggests more suitable alternatives.

Among the misguided management practices listed are:

  • Selecting an 'employee of the month'. Only one member of staff can earn the accolade which means other high performers go unrecognized. Instead, an initiative that awards all outstading performances should be implemented.
  • Appraising performance on an annual basis. This process is inadequate as it fails to recognize performance as it is happening and misses opportunities for getting the most out of people. Instead, appraisal should be carried out on a continual basis.
  • Handing out 'undeserved rewards'. Rewarding easily accomplished feats such as reduction in errors or perfect attendance or rewarding across the board only celebrates the mediocre and mundane. Instead, rewards and recognition should be earned by active behaviours.
  • Praising performance in the manner of 'good job, but…' Pointing out the good and the bad at the same time seems efficent and constructive, but the negative tends to obscure the positive. Instead, the good should be separated from the bad, with the positive feedback given first and corrective instruction delivered at a later time, then the employee feels more valued and is more responsive to the correction.
  • Promoting 'jerks'. It is a misconception in leadership circles that managers who are well liked don't get the best results. On the contrary, the most effective managers will almost always be well liked. The first screen for promotion to a leadership role should be whether people want to be around the candidate and whether they have sufficient social skills.

Management Practices That Spell Doom
Aubrey C. Daniels