Problems Managers Face and Strategies to Deal with Them

Managing a team involves coordinating projects, supervising others and regularly solving any problems that occur in the workplace. Because managers often oversee a project or company through staff transitions and policy changes, they need to be flexible and focused on adapting to a variety of situations. Both new and experienced managers will have to be creative in the strategies they use to ensure that their team works efficiently and regularly accomplishes goals. Understanding different approaches to solving problems as a manager can help you prepare for unexpected challenges or conflicts throughout your career in management. 


Common management problems

Even the most experienced manager will eventually have to handle problems at work, either through overcoming personal challenges or managing the needs and behavior of their employees. Preparing for certain issues can help managers anticipate problems and develop a plan for solving them ahead of time. Here are some of the common problems managers face at work regardless of their field or the industry they work in.



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Employee performance issues

Managers are in charge of making sure that their employees meet expectations and complete their work in a timely and professional manner. Many different factors can cause employees to underperform, and it is often the job of the manager to uncover the reason for poor performance and create a plan for improvement. Confronting employees about performance issues without discouraging them or reducing office morale requires tact and dedication. Solving performance issues within your staff can sometimes take place over a long period of time and requires managers to consistently follow through with the strategy they choose to solve the issue.


Hiring choices

Many managers find it challenging to select the right candidates to join their team. Attracting quality applicants, evaluating their applications and deciding who to offer a job to can be a taxing process. However, understanding how to make difficult hiring choices is a key to building a successful team at work.


Related: How to Hire Employees: A Step-by-Step Guide


Showing authority

Transitioning to a leadership position and establishing authority is a challenge every new manager will have to face. Interactions between peers at work have a different dynamic than those between a manager and an employee, and managers will have to learn how to command respect from others. Even experienced managers may have to evaluate how successfully they can command a team and lead others to accomplish their goals.


Team conflicts

When people who work on the same team have interpersonal or professional differences, a manager is often expected to help them settle their issues and promote teamwork. Resolving team conflicts is a particularly difficult problem because you should try to remain objective and avoid taking sides or alienating an employee. When addressing interpersonal challenges, you should do your best to handle disagreements that occur within your team in a fair and mature manner.


Strategies for dealing with problems

Just as there are many challenges a manager will have to overcome, there are a wide variety of strategies and resources they can use to not only solve problems but develop a team culture that makes future issues easier to handle. You can use the strategies consistently to support company culture or as-needed when confronted with a particularly challenging issue. Below are some useful methods you can put into practice while solving problems as a manager.



Consistent communication

One of the best strategies for solving problems is to communicate clearly with your team. Setting expectations for employee behavior can help avoid performance issues, while providing constructive feedback when problems do occur is a great strategy for improving them. Using your communication skills to mediate interpersonal problems among employees, set professional standards and develop a positive workplace environment can help prevent and solve many common management issues.


Related: How to Conduct Employee Evaluations


Modeling good behavior

Many workplace problems can be improved when a manager builds trust and demonstrates leadership by modeling the behavior they expect from their team. Your team can be more receptive to your leadership if they see that you consider the needs of the entire staff and lead by example. 


Leadership training

Many workplaces offer leadership training that can help you learn advanced management skills. If you find one aspect of being a manager particularly challenging, you can seek out leadership training that addresses that issue. The best leaders are willing to commit to improving their own skills in order to create a team culture that is focused on growth and overcoming obstacles.


Seeking mentorship

Even if you manage a large team of employees, you should still pursue mentorship from people whose professional skills you admire. By seeking out a mentor, you can observe the strategies they use to solve problems and provide leadership, and then practice using those methods with your team.


Related: How to Start a Mentor Program


Management Problems FAQs

While many management problems occur regardless of the type of organization, there are some more specific issues that require more detail and attention. Here are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about management problems.


What causes time management problems?

There are many different causes of time management problems, including burnout, workplace distractions, ineffective scheduling or misunderstood priorities. You can determine the specific cause of time management problems for your employees by observing how they work and having regular check-ins about their progress.


What are operations management problems?

Operations managers focus on the efficiency of different business processes as opposed to managing employees and team members. Operations management problems include organizing expenses, competing with other businesses and keeping up with technological trends.


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