5 Leadership Mistakes That May Be Costing You Money

by Katie Sawyer, · 4 minutes
HOME blog leadership mistakes costing you money

Mistakes, we all make them. As the common saying goes, to err is human. Most mistakes are embarrassing but fairly harmless.

However, if you’re a leader who manages hourly shift workers, some mistakes can cost you money, time, and customers. These mistakes might be the difference between your business being profitable or declining.

Fortunately, the first step of avoiding mistakes is being aware of them. Here are five leadership mistakes that might be costing you money plus tips on how to avoid them.

Leadership mistake #1: Manually updating your schedule

Picture this: You’re just opening up your clinic for the day and your front desk attendant can’t make it in. And with a busy day of patients, you find yourself scrambling to find a replacement ASAP.

You’re trying to remember who’s on leave, who’s in self-isolation, and who is looking to pick up extra hours. And you’ve been doing all of that with sticky notes, emails, and text messages.

Did anyone say headache?

When your patients get tired of waiting and ditch your clinic for somewhere else, you’re costing yourself business.

Here are three ways to automate your scheduling.

  • Use shift management software that has a mobile scheduling app so that employees can have on-demand access to the schedule and update any changes.
  • Empower employees to trade shifts with each other. Simply require manager approval to still ensure the right person is on the clock.
  • Use your app to offer available shifts to interested employees so you’re not left with an empty front desk

Leadership mistake #2: Under/over staffing

The highs and lows in the demand for shift workers can be dizzying. During busy seasons, your team is always on the move, making it difficult to find enough employees to cover the demand. And during the holiday slow down, your employees are looking for something to do.

Not enough staff and you can sacrifice quality customer service — and customers. Too many staff and you could be shelling out unnecessary money.

Here’s how strong leaders make sure they always have the right number of staff on hand.

  • Use integrated reporting to control costs with real-time data on wages versus your sales.
  • Create optimized schedules with AI technology to reduce unnecessary wage costs.
  • Use workforce management software that lets you make changes on any device, so you can easily make adjustments regardless of where you are.

Leadership mistake #3: Not training your employees

If your business has been on reduced hours or even closed, you might find that you need to train (or retrain) your team on new protocols.

If you don’t make training a priority, you could be liable for some hefty fines. Plus, research has shown that training employees not only improves their morale and satisfaction, it also improves sales.

Here’s how to easily incorporate training into your leadership strategy.

  • Use videos to offer visual instructions about new processes or procedures.
  • Require confirmation in your workforce messaging app to ensure your team gets the updates they need.
  • Offer employees training on your product lines and proper customer service either onsite or using online learning platforms.

Leader mistake #4: Not motivating your employees

It’s been a rough few months for everyone, and shift workers really feel the pain.

Unmotivated employees are more likely to be unproductive and they often leave for greener pastures as soon as new opportunities arise. Unproductivity might cost your company sales and customers. High employee turnover rates are very expensive because of the high costs of recruiting new staff.

If you’re trying to climb back from the global pandemic, keeping your team motivated will be key to your success.

  • Recognize employees who perform well through programs such as employee of the month.
  • Give employees the flexibility to manage their schedules through shift trading.
  • Hold team-building events (even virtually) to help with relationship building.

Leadership mistake #5: Poor delegation

Help needed at the customer service counter.

Wait, who was in charge of customer service today? Blank stares.

Before you can sort out this delegation mishap, the social distanced line has wrapped around the next aisle.

Poor delegation of both one-time and recurring tasks can reduce morale and lower productivity while reducing customer satisfaction. Often, these inconveniences translate to actual dollar losses.

  • Use a task management app to automate recurring tasks and balance employee workload.
  • Identify any skills or certifications needed for a certain task, and use your scheduling notes to ensure you are delegating tasks to the right person.
  • Provide feedback to help your employees learn how to do the task better in the future, or to keep up the good work if they’re already mastering it.

Avoid Costly Mistakes

Manual scheduling, over/under-staffing, lack of training, lack of motivation, and poor delegation can cost your business a lot of money and customers in the long term. Thankfully, they also present opportunities to improve customer and employee satisfaction while increasing profits. Lead with the best of them when you try a free trial of Deputy.

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