Five More Ways Managers Breed Incompetence, From Readers

Last Updated Apr 13, 2009 3:04 PM EDT

When we reported Business Pundit's list of ways that even well-meaning managers can breed incompetence on their teams, a flurry of reader responses suggested that these harmful behaviors were all too common in the business world. Readers also complained that the list was incomplete, suggesting that there are plenty of other ways that, in their experience, managers undermine their employees. Here are five of their most interesting ideas:
  • psleeman and Sam Ross: Micromanaging or "providing too much structure and control when a less directive approach is all the employee needs."
  • soundscott: "Not measuring against downstream users of the intended product: Most managers come up by being 'take charge' people who can quickly make a decision and move with it. .... but does anyone follow through to see how the 'solution' actually gets used and affects the ones who asked for it?"
  • dmsilva1: "Don't acknowledge your own mistakes"
  • j01150126: "Having people who are specialized and competent in their original job, and using mis-logic to believe that their own personal drive will allow them to be competent in other professions they know nothing about and in which they have little or no training."
  • nmasoud: "Rewarding mediocrity at the time of hiring. Hiring the wrong people, or not the right person, sends exactly the same signal as keeping non performers."
Thanks to all the insightful BNET1 readers who weighed in with further suggestions. Are there any other ways managers encourage incompetence that they've missed?
(Image of office slacker by hotcactuspepper, CC 2.0)
  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.