7 Excuses Managers Make for Their Employees

Sometimes employees play the blame game. Every time something goes wrong, it’s somebody else’s fault. But Richard Lepsinger, in a post for PM Hut, reveals the missing piece in the equation – you, the manager. The next time a team member points the finger at someone else, try pointing the finger at yourself. See if you’re making one of the seven excuses of poor manager accountability.

7 Excuses Managers Make for their Employees

  1. “Things will get better if I wait out the storm.”
  2. “It was obvious I was dissatisfied.”
  3. “This isn’t worth arguing over.”
  4. “My staff must know what I expect.”
  5. “I don’t want to lose top performers.”
  6. “I don’t want to be a micromanager.”
  7. “I’ll just do it myself. It’s easier that way.”

The problem with playing wait-and-see is that what you see after waiting is the same poor behavior repeated again and again. The buck stops with you. In other words, subtlety is great for love notes and dinner conversation. But in a work environment where success relies on the performance of employees, make your case in no uncertain terms.

And let’s face it, as a manager your job is to make tough decisions and to have frank and open dialogue with the employees who need it the most. If you really want to hold your staff accountable, you need to establish a standard by which to hold them accountable right from the start. They may say you never warned them. Make sure you did.

Additionally, not holding top performers to the same standards as others sends the wrong message, namely that if you meet or exceed expectations, any behavior is excusable. Admittedly, there is a fine line between “monitoring” and “micromanaging.” In the former case, you’re not really taking the power away from staff, but rather setting the necessary guidelines and then ensuring they stay within those lines.

And lastly, taking on the tasks of your employees is not only counterproductive; it’s completely self-defeating. After all, if you can’t trust your employees to do their work, why do you need them to begin with?

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