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Learn to avoid this big mistake as an office manager

Office manager mistake

As a manager, you’ve got a lot on your plate, and the chances are that the paperwork feels as though it doesn’t end. No sooner have you filed an invoice than you’re looking at break schedules, rotas, and order requests that make your head spin. Before you know it, the day is done and you wonder where it went. But you have to be careful to avoid this big mistake as an office manager.

What exactly is the mistake?

You’re working hard, which is great. But, don’t do something that’s going to rub your employees the wrong way. Can you guess what I am referring to?

Unfortunately, if there’s one thing employees dislike, it’s a manager who spends all their time in the safety of a warm, private office while they’re out the front dealing with customers. They’re doing hard work, and even having to deal with complaints.

It’s more than their pay grade’s worth. Also, it could have them questioning what you contribute to the organization, and that decreases employee motivation rather than boosting it.

Now, I know that you’re doing good work, and you know it too. But, given that you need your team onside even to come close to a smoothly running business, you need them to see your value and hard work.

Now you see the mistake as a manager and the need to avoid it. But, how?

You likely will still need to schedule plenty of time in the office to get everything done. Otherwise, your team isn’t going to thank you for dropping the ball, either. Still, making sure to spend at least a few hours on the ground each day could see your managerial prowess soaring in the following ways.

A chance to understand processes on the ground

You might assume a manager understands every aspect of business operations, but that’s not usually the case. If managers have worked from the ground up, they likely do. But, if you’ve stepped straight out of your degree in how to become a construction manager and into the executive office you might not even have a clue how the equipment works.

That also means you won’t have the knowledge of what your team is doing with the equipment.

Obviously, this is going to be less the case in something like an office environment. But, in every other sector, from construction to retail, letting your desk go empty for a while is the only way to understand businesswide processes.

This is the fuel for positive change, proactive management, and any necessary support. None of that would be possible if you continued working blindly at your computer.

A great way to gain employee respect

If your employees never see you or see the results of your office-based efforts, there’s no way they’re going to respect what you do. It is as simple as that.

And, as everyone knows, a manager without respect is no manager at all. By comparison, a boss who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty and do the same work as everyone else is going to make a more positive impression.

Not only is this humble approach a much better way to get your team on the side, but it also shows them firsthand how hard you work. That is something they’ll never see when everything you do happens on a computer screen.

A more approachable managerial style

Approachability is a crucial aspect of successful management and a happy workforce. That is why open-door policies are such a business buzzword, ensuring that your team members can come to you with everything from health issues to job concerns and beyond.

Unfortunately, even if your office door is open, a failure to ever emerge from that room is always going to create a “you and them” atmosphere. That leaves struggling team members uncertain of how to attract your attention or when best to enter your work area.

But, if you’re out on the floor with your team at least some of the time, you provide opportunities for them to talk to you about even sensitive topics. If they don’t feel like they can come to you about those things, which is a reality if you stayed locked in the office, they might seek employment elsewhere.

1 thought on “Learn to avoid this big mistake as an office manager”

  1. A great article. In the meantime, there was also a point where managers should get to know real life. This is now shown in programs like Undercover Chef. There, managers take on positions in the field for a certain period of time, without the knowledge of the production employees.

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