Remember the old adage: the buck stops here. When you’re a manager or business owner, you carry the ultimate responsibility for the health of your business, especially when it comes to good management.

Surveys of employees reveal that up to half of those who quit do so because of their boss and no other reason.

How you manage matters. Are you making any of the following managerial mistakes?

Managerial Mistakes: Erratic expectations

Be consistent with your employees. Let them know what your expectations are in a clear way and then stick to them. If you don’t, you’ll lose trust and the next time, you may see productivity going down.


Resist the urge to stand over employees and check up on them constantly. Your team wants feedback, but not all day long. Be brave enough to allow your team members to make mistakes–they’ll learn from them, and they’ll actually appreciate your giving them enough leeway to learn from any missteps they make. Ask them for feedback on what they’ve learned and give corrective guidance when appropriate.


You may actually have a favorite employee or two. But be aware that often your favorite employee may be just like you, and that’s why you like them. Try to treat all of your team with the same level of expectation and respect, and you’ll likely be surprised at the positive results. Better yet, you’ll see winning ideas you would have never thought of from those employees you might have otherwise overlooked.


Is your mind occupied with big considerations your employees know nothing about? Do you find your thoughts drifting during meetings? When you’re with your team, be engaged and focused. Try to be as much in the now as you can and give 100% of your attention to the moment. Learn to organize your time so that you have time to think about the important things but also learn to compartmentalize, so that you can give your employees all of yourself when they have you with them in a meeting or one-on-one.


Sure, you work hard. But that’s no excuse to let yourself burn out. There are people counting on you. Make sure you map out a good work-life balance and then stick to it. Don’t let work creep into every crevice of your day, but carve out strong boundaries for play and meaningful connection with important relationships, so that when you are working, you are your healthiest and best self.

Not challenging your employees intellectually

It may feel easiest for you to do most of the heavy lifting intellectually. Maybe your employees don’t yet know enough about your company processes or how to do  certain projects or reports. But they often are capable of far more than you might realize. An employee who is given increased responsibility and challenged to do more intellectually will also build loyalty to your company and business. Manage them well through difficult projects and don’t be afraid to jump in and assist when needed. Remember: an employee who has been deeply challenged–if they have been managed well through it–will emerge out the other side a better employee and more loyal than ever to your business.

Hiring and promoting the wrong people

This is a tough one. None of us are mind readers or predictors of the future. It’s hard to know whether someone will turn out well or not when we hire them. But if we work with an experienced team (such as human resources) to help with hires, we can alleviate some of this issue on the front end. As an employee runs out their first 90 days in your company, be on the alert for any red flags that show they may not be good for your company culture in the long haul. And don’t promote the wrong people. Every hire or promotion needs to be considered in the light of your company goals and/or culture, not just because you need someone to fill a space or someone has been occupying a space for a requisite length of time.