Leaders and managers in organizations play a very important role in determining the quality of their workforce. By reason of their position and authority, they determine the way things are done in the workplace.

In most organizations I have worked with as a consultant, I have observed that by taking a close look at the leaders and managers in the system you can easily tell how workers behaved. Most managers like to work with people who share some similarities with themselves, people who work the way they do, who think and sometimes who talk like them.

In this article I have listed some of the actions and behaviors of managers in organizations that may encourage mediocrity. The list of behaviors that hamper productivity is inexhaustible, however I have written on some of the very important and apparent ones. I have also suggested some ways managers can prevent mediocre performance at work.

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Some of the traits that managers have that encourage mediocrity include:

Not setting good examples

As leaders in the organization, managers play a very significant role in shaping the culture of the organization. In most cases they serve as role models for employees who join the organization, they determine the way work is done. A lot of managers have subordinates who look up to them for guidance and support, subordinates want to impress their managers so they mirror their behaviors. Managers must ensure that they project the kinds of behaviors that would affect the organization positively, they must work with the consciousness of the influence they have on their subordinates. They must be role models worthy of emulation.

Not rewarding creativity and hard work

What gets rewarded gets repeated, when managers do not reward the right behaviors in employees they encourage employees to act in an undesired manner. Organizations must ensure that their rewards systems do not encourage mediocrity, they must ensure that they are rewarding the right behaviors. Managers must be able to separate unproductive activities form result-based activities, they must be able to spark up the creative abilities inherent in every employee through their reward system. Rewards and recognition systems should be examined to ensure that they enhance performance and that they promote a culture of hard work and ingenuity.

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Inability to communicate the vision and values of the organization

Managers communicate the vision and values of the organization to subordinates through their work attitudes. To communicate the vision and values of the organization effectively to subordinates, managers must first know these values and live by them. The vision and values should not remain as statements inscribed on the company’s walls and written in documents, they must form the basis on which work is done within the organization. Therefore managers must be able to communicate the vision and values effectively to their subordinates by living them. Managers should be accountable for ensuring that their subordinates understand what the organization is about and translate this into their work.

We can have more productive and result-driven organizations if managers have the right attitude towards work. Managers must always be aware of the role they play in shaping the employees of the organization.

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About the Author

Obaro Aziza is an HR professional with specialties in Learning and Development, Training Facilitation, Talent Acquisition, Business Partnering, Performance Management, Talent Management, HR and Business Consulting, Business Development, Strategy, Business Analysis, Business writing. 

You can reach him on LinkedIn here.

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