Ten Critical Mistakes Made by Supervisors Dealing with Federal Employees in Trouble at Work – This is an excellent article by Bob Gilson, a consultant and employee relations advisor who authors articles at FedSmith.com, an information portal for sources of information impacting the federal community. This concise and sensible list is one that should be mandatory reading for all with supervisory responsibility, regardless of whether they are in the public or private sector.
Bob attributes many of the supervisory mistakes that he’s witnessed to poor training, something we would concur with. He labels each item on his list as a “critical mistake” and elaborates considerably on each – but here is a summary of the ten mistakes that he identifies:

  • Failing to Set Clear Expectations or to Regularly Reinforce Them
  • Letting Problems You’re Aware of Fester before Addressing Them
  • Failure to Communicate With People with Problems
  • Failure to Recognize the Importance of Due Process
  • Taking the Matter Personally
  • Moving Too Quickly to Formal Action
  • Playing “GOTCHA” With Troublesome or Difficult People
  • Waiting Too Long to Get Professional Help
  • Unwillingness to See a Problem Through to a Resolution
  • Worrying Too Much About Over-Touted Disincentives to Taking Action

This list is a follow-on to a prior article about Ten Critical Mistakes Made by Federal Employees in Trouble, a candid look at mistakes employees often make to aggravate their troubles when they have problems on the job – another article well worth a read. More articles authored by Bob can be found in the Federal Manager’s Toolbox.


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