As a small business owner, your employees look to you as a
leader. You’re expected to motivate them and help them succeed. If you’re not
used to managing a team, it can be easy to fall into some common traps. Check
out these five common mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Act like you know everything
It can be embarrassing to be asked questions if you don’t
know the answers. But, it’s okay if you don’t know everything.
If someone asks you a question that you don’t know the
answer to, be honest. Find out the answer whether from your team or another
source and get back to your employee with the correct information instead of
guessing. Not only will this show that you’re humble, but it will also show
that you trust your team and count on them to help you run and grow your
2. Micromanage your team
Since your small business is your livelihood and passion, it
can be easy to think, “If I want something done right, I need to do it myself.”
This thinking can cause you to burn out because you’re overworking yourself,
and it can lead to micromanaging your team. When you micromanage your
staff, you’re showing them that you don’t trust them to complete the
work you hired them to do.
Instead, remember that you hired each employee for a reason
and that they bring their own experiences and skills to the company. Trust that
your team will get their work done on time.
You don’t have to be completely hands-off, though. Let your
team know that you want to support them in any way you can. Be available to
answer their questions and provide resources. You can work with your employees
without standing over their shoulder.
3. Avoid uncomfortable conversations
If a member of your team has performance issues or is doing
something inappropriate, you likely need to talk to them about it. No one likes
confrontation, so it’s easy to ignore the problem and hope it fixes itself.
Unfortunately, ignoring a problem only makes it worse.
Your team expects a paycheck, but money might not be the
only thing that encourages your employees to do their best work. Instead, they might
be motivated by paid time off, more responsibility, or praise.
Find out what drives your staff by simply asking them. When
you know what inspires your team, you’ll be able to propel them forward.
5. Focus on the wrong thing
You want your small business to succeed, which may mean you
want it to make as much money as possible. But, if you focus solely on revenue
growth, you risk sacrificing the health and happiness of your team, which
can lead to high employee turnover.