Top 10 Management Challenges And How To Overcome Them

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 November 2022 | Published 1 November 2021

Updated 22 November 2022

Published 1 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

While a career in management can be fulfilling and lucrative, it comes with its own set of difficulties and tough moments. It is necessary for managers to know how to deal with these and motivate their team members to do better and achieve professional success. By understanding the various issues that managers face in the business environment, you can decide if a career in management might suit you. In this article, we discover some of the top management challenges and the ways managers can overcome them.

10 Common Management Challenges

Here are some of the most common management challenges and ways to overcome them:

1. Decreased performance levels

In a fiercely competitive business environment, companies expect their employees to perform their best and meet their productivity goals. While it is common for employees to go through periods of time where they are less productive and motivated, there are ways to help them feel motivated again. If left unresolved, a decrease in productivity can affect the performance of other team members and overall project goals.

Solution: You can handle management problems related to decreased productivity by regularly monitoring employee performances. Set clear work targets, implement work processes, assign specific tasks to each team member and provide constructive feedback if they fall short of the expected performance. You can analyse the workflow, get to the root of the problem and make necessary adjustments. You may require to enforce work discipline or restructure the team if performance does not improve. By addressing issues early on, you can avoid more problems later.

Related: What Is Management? Definition, Functions And Levels

2. Hiring skilled employees

Making the right hiring decisions is crucial for the long-term success of a business. Apart from the right skills and experience, managers look for people who can fit in with the company culture. The team can benefit from new employees who can settle in quickly and do not require extensive guidance. A wrong hiring decision can negatively impact your team's morale. If some employees constantly fail to handle their assigned tasks, it could affect the team's overall performance and result in friction within the team.

Solution: Writing a job advertisement with a detailed work description and skills requirements may help get the attention of qualified candidates. You can assess the suitability of shortlisted applicants by asking the right interview questions and having them complete a sample work test. It is also a good idea to seek professional help from recruitment agencies.

Related: Management Skills: Definition And Examples

3. Poor communication

Another challenge that managers face when overseeing teams is ensuring effective communication. Because every team member has a different personality, there is a chance for miscommunication from time to time. Communication problems can escalate and affect work relationships and productivity.

Solution: You can work on your verbal, written and listening skills and make it easy for employees to approach you with their issues. It can help if you have frequent meetings with employees, set clear work standards and reiterate project goals. You can also implement a messaging platform for timely and effective team communication.

Related: 13 Effective Communication Strategies To Implement At Work

4. Poor teamwork

A lack of cohesiveness in a team can cause several managerial issues. The team might have poor communication or face trouble working well together. Some team members may focus more on completing their specific tasks and less on collaborating with the rest of the team. This can have a detrimental effect on a project's progress and can even affect the company's long-term business interests.

Solution: To re-establish teamwork, managers can revisit the purpose of a project. You can organise team-building exercises periodically and demonstrate ways in which team members can work together. Such events can enable the team members to get to know each other well and improve their relationships.

Related: 14 Skill-Building Activities To Help Your Team Develop

5. Difficult employees

Dealing with difficult employees is among the top problems that many managers face. Every manager would prefer a team that gets along well and does its work without creating unnecessary issues. However, there can be team members who cannot get along socially and professionally with others. They may be unpleasant to work with and can create a negative, conflict-ridden office environment. Unless the manager intervenes to stop their behaviour, it can harm the team morale and productivity. It can even cause the top performers to leave the company rather than endure the daily stress.

Solution: It is important to stop a conflict before it creates further concerns. You can have a frank discussion about it with the feuding parties and other team members to understand the situation. If possible, try to resolve personal or work-related disputes through mediation. You can remind the employees about the company's no-tolerance policy regarding disrespectful behaviour or bullying. You can make it clear that you expect them to be professional and civil in the workplace and that they may face disciplinary actions or job termination if they disregard your directive.

Related: Motivation at Work: How To Motivate Employees in Their Jobs

6. Time management

Managers are in charge of ensuring that the team completes their work on schedule. If the team falls behind, it might affect other planned schedules and the company's business interests. This can create stress within the team and lead to poor productivity or work quality. In their rush to finish the project, the employees might lose their focus and make mistakes, resulting in revisions and more delays.

Solution: You can plan a detailed work schedule at the start of the project, assign tasks and specify completion deadlines. Make things easier for the team by setting the deadlines several days earlier than the actual work submission date. That can give the team extra time to check the work and make necessary changes before finalising it for the client. You can monitor the work progress during the project and send friendly reminders to the employees to stay on schedule. If anyone is struggling with their tasks, you can reassign the work.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

7. Performance pressure

Managers often report to senior executives or directly to clients and may feel the pressure to improve their work and get more done in less time. They may find it stressful to satisfy their superiors and follow up with their subordinates. Long work hours, constant pressure to meet deadlines and maintain high standards can cause excessive stress, anxiety, fatigue and even diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Solution: It may help to have well-structured workdays to stay on schedule. If unexpected issues occur, try to remain calm and remind yourself that it is normal for everyone to encounter hurdles or make mistakes. Focus on finding an appropriate solution and inform the senior management and clients about the matter. If you require work extension or assistance, let them know as soon as possible. They can then make the necessary arrangements, and you can stop feeling stressed.

Related: What Is The Role Of A Manager?

8. Skepticism

Teams often question the transparency of management when they feel distanced from their supervisors, especially if certain employees feel like they are doing more work than others. When people feel they are not part of the plan, their level of trust becomes compromised.

Solution: Clear communication and honest interactions help resolve scepticism in most instances because it builds trust between an employee and manager. When you delegate tasks, explain why you assigned them and how it contributes to the overall goal.

9. Retaining high performers

Employees with specialised skills are in demand across industries. It is part of a manager's job to make an effort to retain these high performers. Otherwise, they are likely to move on to other companies where they are better appreciated. Staff retention is one of the most pressing issues in management.

Solution: You can pay the high-performing employees what they are worth and let them know how much you appreciate their contributions to the team and the company. You can incentivise them to remain with the company by offering rewards, benefits and other perks. It can help if the company has a clear path of career advancement, offers its employees training programmes to learn new skills and has flexible work options.

Related: What Is Employee Retention? (And How To Increase It)

10. Firing employees

It may become necessary for a company to let go of some of its employees for various reasons. The company may be downsizing its staff, moving to another location or changing its business model. It may also decide to dismiss some employees for not meeting work standards or violating the company policies. The manager is in charge of relaying the news to the concerned employees, and it can be one of the most challenging parts of their work duties.

Solution: You can call the employee for a one-on-one meeting to break the news. It is never easy to inform people of impending job loss, but you can tackle the situation better by being a little tactful. If possible, you can suggest other job options within the company or offer to write a recommendation that can help them find another job.

Related: A Step By Step Guide On How To Give Feedback (With Examples)

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