It is often said the employees don’t leave the company they leave their Manager.
Generally, people go through various different job roles looking to their Managers to be their role model. Unfortunately, most small to medium sized companies don’t offer their Managers any training so both good and bad practices are trained in. This blog will take a look at different aspects of management to help you ensure the roles and expectations of a Manager are clear in your company.
The Roles of a Manager
There are normally two main roles of a manager, one is to ensure that tasks are completed, the other is to develop and look after the team.
Depending on someone’s preference they will be spending more time in one area than another. It is important to get the balance right and ensure that the tasks are completed on time to quality as well as developing and supporting the team.
It is very common for individuals to be promoted to a People Manager role purely based on longevity, having been in a role the longest. They may also be technically superb at their role. If that person doesn’t have the appropriate people skills or the desire to develop them this can cause big problems.
The opposite can also be true, someone may have amazing people skills but not have the task management skills to hold people to account to ensure deadlines are met.
It is useful to explore what your company thinks makes a good people Manager. Think about the values and behaviours, what words would you use?
To help people be good at people management you can set up systems to support it, this could include:
- Clear company values and behaviours
- Recommendations for one to ones with each team members; timescales, durations, content
- Checklists to use at induction so the Manager gets to know them
- Scheduled social events
- Behavioural analysis, such as the DiSC reports
- 360 reviews, so the team give feedback on the Manager
Having a happy team that aren’t doing their work is no good to anyone. How clearly documented are the tasks; how to do them, to what standard?
If everyone is working in the agreed way to the required standard and those results are tracked regularly through meetings and performance trackers then task management becomes straight forward.
In your company were people selected in to the Manager role based on clear criteria or were they the next in line?
How much time should they be spending on the people side versus the task side?
In addition to the task and people side of management the culture of the company needs to be considered. The words ‘company culture’ are used to define what it’s like to work within a company. What is encouraged in one company may be unacceptable in another.
Different sizes of company and types of company need different styles of management and ways of working. Creative environments often want their team to have a looser culture, the freedom and flexibility to come up with innovative ideas. For example: Google has a very open culture, lots of break out areas and flexible working. In contrast, professional services such as Accountants and Solicitors normally have a tighter culture, the style of management is more rigid, with clear expectations and timescales for tasks.
I have worked in both a private company and a public company, the cultures were very different. The public company had layers of meetings and hoops for decision making, the focus being on open communication and gaining widespread approval. Less emphasis on quick decision making and budgets. Even down to a Management report having a set format with multiple headlines and extensive numbering format and version control.
The private company was more focussed on accountability, meetings focussed on results and action points. Reports for them had to get to the point quickly; lots of bullet points with as few pages as possible with clear recommendations and return on investment.
Have you got templates for reports, agendas and action plans, is there a set plan for meetings?
Members of a team will come with different levels of experience and skill set. Getting the best from every person is key to a high performing team. This means getting to know each person as an individual, what motivates them, what their skill sets are and making sure they are clear on their role and how it needs to be delivered.
People are very complex; one management style is not always right for everyone and different situations may need an alternative approach.
A really useful tool is DiSC profiling, developed by Thomas Marston, a very impressive man as he also invented the lie detector and Wonder Woman. A very interesting film has been made recently documenting his life and how he came up with the Wonder Woman concept – very eye-opening, especially at his time in history!
DiSC profiling is an online assessment that take around 15 minutes to complete. It looks at how people like to communicate. Some people are more outgoing, others more introvert, some prefer to be task focussed others prefer to spend time around people and team. Most areas of conflict in a team are around differences in communication style.
If you know someone’s preference you can adapt to get the most from them.
To be able to style flex, you need to know what your preferences are and have a thorough knowledge on what the different roles of a Manager are. Once you know that you can establish where your strengths and weaknesses are.
Get to know your team, their DiSC preferences, motivations and you will be in a great position to build a high performing team.
If you are looking to get the most from your team in 2019 then it would be worthwhile developing the skills of your Managers. This could be by getting them to read some books on Management, developing their communication skills by analysing their DiSC preference, studying NLP, getting feedback from their team on how they are getting on: 360 reviews or putting them on a course.
If you want any DiSC reports we can help with the assessment or run an in-house training session for you. We can also run 360 reviews that are totally anonymous or run a course on Management skills.
We are running a half day Introduction to Management course on the 23rd January in Tunbridge Wells. These are great value at only £125+VAT for a half day course
It is a great way to get clear on:
- What makes a good Manager
- The roles of a Manager
- Your role preference
- Areas for you to develop as a Manager
- Your DiSC profile: full analysis on your preferences and how to adapt to get the most from communication with others
If you’d like to attend our course – please click the following link – Click Here