5 Ways To Be A Bad Manager & Stifle Creativity
I saw the above photo, and I must admit it made me LOL. In all seriousness, according to a 2019 study, 57% of employees quit their jobs because of their bosses. That statistic is insane and sad, especially since 90,000 hours of your life is spent at work.
This week's Marketing Lab topic isn't exactly marketing-related, but in a way, it surely affects your marketing. Imagine being tasked to write incredible captions, create jaw-dropping graphics, or beat monthly sales quotas to help a company where your boss makes you miserable or feel underappreciated. Would you be excited and eager with a mind full of ideas when you're unhappy with your work environment every day? Can you really sit down and come up with ways to get customers through the door or to your website when you can't stand being in a meeting with your own manager?
If you're a small business owner who has a team of marketers or an in-house employee tasked with your marketing, you need to make sure you avoid the 5 things below. If you do one, or all of these things, you could be stifling your team's creativity, which in turn affects the quality of your content and marketing.
1. You micromanage.
Let me be 100000% clear. I am not the BEST MANAGER OF ALL TIME, but I sure do try to be. I'm sure my team has felt micromanaged at one point or another, but that doesn't mean I don't make an effort every single day to make them feel like leaders within HALCON.
Our job as managers is to manage, plain and simple. We need to ensure our teams are happy and feel supported and appreciated. Sure, we need to make sure projects are on schedule, but our way of doing things isn't the only way. We need to give our employees time to think and act. They deserve the opportunity to spread their wings, learn from experience, and problem-solve on their own. By micromanaging, we are taking away their opportunity to obtain knowledge from experience and gain confidence in their roles within our businesses.
Watch The Marketing Lab video this week where I share personal stories from my career.
2. You only give feedback when things are done incorrectly.
Bad managers only give feedback when things go wrong, rarely when things go right. This isn't always the manager's fault as sometimes things get extremely busy and we just take our team's work for granted, especially whey they are awesome.
As managers, we need to have check-ins with our employees. We need to take an interest in what's going on, so we can give praise when it is deserved and guidance when it is needed. Our employees should hear from us when they do something incredible just as much as when they make a mistake.
3. You don't give feedback... ever.
I once had a manager who never gave me any feedback when I did something incorrectly. Instead, she would either just do it on her own or circumvent me and talk to my clients directly. When asked if something was wrong, she would tell me everything was just peachy.
As my boss, she has every right to ask me to make changes on something. The issue here is 1.) she never ASKED ME to make the changes and 2.) she took away my opportunity to learn from my mistakes.
Sometimes, it takes more time out of your day to give your employees feedback and guide them in the right direction. Sometimes, it's just easier and faster to do it yourself. If you're in a time crunch and you need to tackle a task on your own, then you should make an effort to schedule time with your employee to explain to them why you did what you did and what they could have done better.
An open line of communication is key.
4. You don't share your company's big vision.
Have you ever felt like one little ant in an army of ants? Have you ever felt like a dispensable part of your team? As someone easily replaceable?
If so, chances are it's because you didn't feel invested in your company, or you feel like your company isn't invested in you.
If your employees feel this way, they don't feel invested in their work either, nor will they sing your praises. You need to make them feel part of your company and that their work is part of your overall vision for the future.
You need to be open to their advice and ideas. Share what success looks like for your business and what success looks like for your employees.
5. You don't make your team feel valued.
One way to make your employees feel valued is to give them the opportunity to OWN their successes. For example, if you automatically think the worst of people, you feel threatened. When you feel threatened, you don't feel comfortable letting people shine for their work. It has to be the TEAM or YOU who shines.
Let people SHINE, SHINE, and SHINE!
If one of your employees does a kick-ass job, tell him or her. Then, tell the world! Make them feel valued and indispensable. What do you have to lose? Their success is YOUR success. Their accolades are YOUR accolades.
At Halcon, we believe in hyping each other up and singing each other's praises. Yes, we are quite the peppy bunch. Bad marketing and stress are our enemies, not each other. Just like any relationship, communication is important. If we don't trust, support, and value each other, we might as well close our doors now.
P.S. I share more stories and expand upon the above in this week's The Marketing Lab video. Check it out! Chat next week!