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6 Management Tactics That Drive Employees Crazy

Take a good, hard look at this list, bosses. What seem like logical moves to you might be stressing your employees to the max.
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Everyone knows that hectic employees are productive employees, so here's how to ensure your entire team is always on their toes and on tenterhooks:

1. Set multiple priorities. Since having one priority is good, multiple priorities is even better. Why have a single most important task or goal when every task and goal can be equally important?

2. Constantly reprioritize. Once you've set your multiple priorities, be sure to switch them around, add new ones, temporarily remove old ones, and so forth. Success in today's business world is all about flexibility.

3. Expect the unreasonable. Now that you've explained what you want, set non-negotiable "stretch" goals that can't possibly be achieved. Be sure to tie compensation and raises to the achievement those goals.

4. Dole out permission. At this point, your employees should be fully motivated and busy. However, you don't want them to do things without proper approval! Make certain that they run everything by you.

5. Shoot messengers. Risk management is crucially important, so now it's time to ensure that nothing goes wrong. The best way to accomplish this is to publicly punish anybody who screws up. That way they won't screw up.

6. Micromanage. And finally we get to management's most important role... making certain that everything runs smoothly. Don't be satisfied with monthly or weekly status reports! Think daily or even hourly! The more the better!

Or maybe that's all just so much bullsh*t. If so, though, why do so many bosses use these tactics?

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IMAGE: Shutterstock
Last updated: Jan 17, 2014

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James was recently named a "Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Master" by Forbes, and his blog has won awards from the Society of American Business Editors and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. His writing has appeared in publications as diverse as Wired, Brandweek, and Men's Health, and he is the author of numerous books, including The Tao of Programming, Business Wisdom of the Electronic Elite, and, most recently, Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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