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4 Challenges of Management & How to Overcome Them - HRDQ

4 Challenges of Management & How to Overcome Them

Managing a team can be a challenging task, but it's one that's crucial to the success of any organization. Effective managers must be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to handle a wide range of issues that arise in the workplace. Some of the biggest challenges managers face include dealing with disengaged employees, poor communication, decision-making, decreased employee performance, and more. However, with the right approach and tools, managers can overcome these challenges and improve their leadership skills.

In this post, we’ll discuss the four common management challenges and how to overcome them. Understanding these challenges will help you improve the way you lead your team so you see greater success and create a better working culture.

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Disengaged Employees

A frustrated man working on his laptop

Engaging disengaged employees is one of the toughest challenges management faces. Disengaged employees exemplify some or all of the following behaviors:

  • Consistently arrive late. Disengaged employees will often struggle with arriving to work or meetings on time. This behavior signals burnout, a lack of motivation, commitment, or interest in their job.
  • Spend a lot of time on their phone or away from their desk: This shows a lack of time management on their part, and negatively impacts their productivity and ability to contribute to the team.
  • Have a negative attitude. Having a negative attitude can create a toxic company culture and impact team members and team morale as it brings others down.
  • Avoid participation. Disengaged employees may avoid participating in team meetings, group projects, or other collaborative efforts and assignments, which can negatively impact team performance.
  • Don’t speak up. Disengaged employees may not want to communicate their thoughts or opinions on things, leading to a lack of effective communication, which can, in turn, hinder problem-solving and project deadlines as tasks are not completed.
  • Blend in with the team. They may try to not stand out and go above and beyond in their work. This may not always be negative or a sign of a disengaged employee, but it can be a signal of a lack of initiative or drive.

When an employee becomes disengaged, it can be a concerning situation for their manager or employer. However, there are several steps that can be taken to reengage the employee and get them back on track. Here are a few of the steps that can be taken:

  • Create a work environment that fosters positive communication. If employees feel that they can talk to managers about the problems they’re having, they won’t harbor resentment and disengage. We’ll talk more about fostering positive, open communication below.
  • Remind them of their purpose. Employees who don't see the value or meaning in what they do may struggle to perform their jobs to the best of their ability. By reminding them of the larger purpose and impact of their work, you can help re-energize and re-focus them on their goals.
  • Reassess their role. Often, employees disengage because they are in the wrong role; specifically, one that does not utilize their strengths and weaknesses. Having regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings to discuss the work they are completing is a way to safeguard against disengagement as you work together to find the best role and tasks.
  • Implement a workshop. Through a workshop, you can learn how to ensure employee satisfaction and prevent disengagement from occurring.

Poor Communication

Effective communication is essential for any organization to function properly. Poor communication can have a detrimental impact on the workplace, leading to disengagement, confusion, distrust, and even a hostile work environment. It can also negatively affect performance and productivity, causing a ripple effect throughout the organization.

To improve communication, it's important for both managers and employees to understand their own communication style. Each person has their own unique way of communicating, and recognizing this can help them be more effective in their interactions with others.

Good managers should also emphasize listening skills. Having the ability to listen actively and process information is just as important as effectively verbalizing information. As we mentioned, when employees feel heard, they’re less likely to disengage and will feel comfortable communicating any problems that arise.

Swift and Confident Decision-Making

A man looking at a piece of paper being handed to him

Decision-making is another challenge of management. When managers thoughtfully listen to their employees, the ball is in the manager’s court to decide what to do with that information. If managers simply listen but don’t take action, employees may begin to harbor distrust. That said, having strong decision-making skills is crucial for ensuring your team runs smoothly. However, it can be a challenge to cultivate these skills, especially if you’re relatively new to management.

Here’s how to begin improving your decision-making skills:

  • Identify your decision-making style. As a manager, it's important to have strong decision-making skills so that you can make informed decisions that benefit your team and organization. However, cultivating these skills can be challenging, especially if you're new to management. To start improving your decision-making abilities, the first step is to identify your decision-making style. This will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and enable you to make better decisions.
  • Assess the urgency of the problem. Some problems require immediate attention and quick decision-making, while others can be addressed over a longer period of time.
  • Assess the nature of the problem. The nature of the problem will affect how you handle the situation. If it's an interpersonal issue, you may need to take a different approach than if it's a problem related to a specific task.
  • Flex your decision-making style. By being open to different approaches and adjusting your style as needed, you can ensure that you're taking the best possible approach to each situation.

Remember, when managers listen thoughtfully to their employees, it's important to take action on the information received to maintain trust and ensure the team runs smoothly.

    Decreased Employee Performance

    As a manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that your team consistently reaches its goals, and performance management is a key part of your job. If you notice that your employees are lacking in performance, there are several steps you can take to combat this.

    • Instill accountability. Increasing accountability in the workplace will give incentives to individuals to produce their best work for the sake of the group. This can be done by setting clear expectations for individual employees and holding them accountable for meeting those expectations.
    • Bond your team. Part of accountability is ensuring you have a strong team that knows how to work with one another. Team building exercises can help bring your team together and build trust. By fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork in the workplace, you can create a more positive and productive work environment.
    • Be a great coach. Great employees ultimately begin with great managers. Coaching your employees provides them with the tools they need to reach and exceed performance expectations. By providing regular feedback and guidance, you can help your employees improve their performance and achieve their goals.
    • Keep track of progress. To understand the areas where your team or individuals are struggling, it’s important to keep close track of their progress. This can be done through regular check-ins, performance reviews, or other performance management techniques. This way, you’ll know the exact weaknesses you need to discuss with them. You can then see if your performance management techniques helped them improve.

    By creating accountability, enhancing team bonds, being a great coach, and keeping track of progress, you can help create a more productive and efficient workplace where employees are engaged.

      Start Training with HRDQ

      There are many challenges of management, but there are things you can do to overcome these challenges. To help foster employee engagement, our Employee Engagement customizable course has been developed to equip leaders and managers with the necessary tools and techniques to engage their employees. the course addresses how to look for your employees' unique strengths, how to show your employees support and equip them with the resources they need, how to give appropriate feedback, and how to freely share information. Each of these learning outcomes addresses a challenge of management, and through self-assessments, interactive activities, and practical knowledge to help individuals become effective and influential leaders, participants can ensure employees feel valued and supported in their day-to-day responsibilities.

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      About our author

      Bradford R. Glaser

      Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.