A Personal Approach to Employee Management & Recognizing the Mistakes of Leadership

In the ever-increasing development of employee management and high production output, the most difficult task for a manager or supervisor is maintaining the motivation of employees that provide first-line services. In many instances of employee management it is often said that a successful manager or supervisor is 70% direct employee relations, employee mentoring, motivation and employee development, while 30% of your time is managing all other aspects of the business that you have been hired to do. In most instances, failure to manage employees takes shape when a manager or supervisor becomes complacent, has reached his or her own potential, or is unable to change their own idealistic views that no longer apply in the current structure of employee developmental strategies.

As a manager and a supervisor, it is inherently responsible that we provide leadership and motivation that increases productivity, often changing how we apply our techniques in business processes and employee development. Ask any manager how many times they have approached an issue or problem and they will tell you that they have made mistakes along the way. I would agree that I have made several mistakes over the years, and some of those mistakes have had disastrous results; in one instance, putting friendship above management and jeopardizing my own career for the sake of others that I was meant to lead. What I have learned from that experience was in fact a wake up call that allowed me to see where I had made those mistakes and recognition of what had transpired to get me to that point where I had lost my direction of leadership and replaced my own management strengths with the fear of losing momentum and overwhelming complacency. I had also recognized that not only did I let myself down; but I let my own team down and the people who respected me as a leader.

“Managers should act as if they are part of the team, not just the boss of it. They should minimize the trappings of office, and reduce the emotional distance between themselves and the rest of the workforce. People need to feel that management is part of “us,” not “them.” Dig in, routinely help with the work, and be readily available to anyone who has a problem, whether work-related or personal. Wash your own cup. Above all, ensure that you stand for something, have uncompromising principles and stick to them.” (David Maister, 2013)

One of my greatest strengths is learning from those mistakes and recognizing that what I do as a manager or supervisor directly influences not only those that I am responsible for leading, but also influences my own management style. The mistakes I have made provides a clear understanding of how I influence myself to do a better job and the approach to how I manage my employees that define who I am as a leader, a mentor and decision-maker that can acknowledge not only my greatest successes, but can also admit where I have made my greatest mistakes, which is one of my own personal achievements that I will take with me throughout the rest of my career.