Management style under the microscope

Many people believe in the old adage that ‘you don’t leave your company, you leave your manager’.

All organisations want leaders who inspire and nurture their teams to ensure maximum performance, productivity and engagement. But sometimes managers can get it very, very wrong.

Being a manager is not easy, but here are some key things that are pivotal to a manager’s success to retaining key talent:

Set a good example

If you are gossiping, always coming to work late, using bad language and being lazy, how can you expect others not to follow your example? Make sure that all layers of management are laying down the appropriate standards of conduct and performance and are following them to the letter.

Avoid favouritism 

Few things can kill staff morale and productivity quicker than if employees feel that there is one person who is apple of their manager’s eye.

Your workplace rules are there for everyone and you should apply them fairly and consistently across your whole business.

Give praise

Remember when you were a child and your teacher used to give you a gold star for good work and you used to feel all chuffed about yourself? Well, adults are really no different – we all like to be praised. So make sure that an employee’s hard work is being recognised. This doesn’t always mean that you need to break the bank by giving them a pay increase or a huge bonus. You can come up with more creative and cost-effective ways to reward them.

Stop micromanaging

Managers must learn to delegate and allow their employees to take on responsibility. If you continually hover over an employee’s shoulder, you can destroy their trust, lower their morale and dent their confidence in carrying out tasks and making decisions on their own.

Give support

You don’t want to hold your employees’ hands, but there will be times when they need some help – perhaps just to bounce around an idea, to find a solution to a problem or to get advice as they are experiencing some unexpected challenges. Make sure your employees feel they can come to you for support and you try and help them as much as possible.

Be realistic

Nobody wants to be set up to fail, so don’t set unrealistic deadlines; give unattainable targets or impossible workloads. If you are constantly making employees come in early, work late, skip lunches, work weekends or cancel their annual leave, this will take its toll on the employee.

Maintain good communication

As much as we’d love employees to master the art of mind reading, not many are very proficient at it. Make sure that you give your employees clear direction and explain the future business strategy and goals you are trying to achieve. Sometimes you may need to keep certain things under your hat, but try and be as open and transparent as you can to gain and maintain their trust.

Ask for their views

Part of good communication is also listening. Employees want to feel that their views matter. If you want to implement some changes to the workplace, give them chance to provide their input. This will help them feel heard and valued.

Get rid of a negative attitude

If you are being negative, it is likely to make everyone around you feel all doom and gloom too. So when times are hard, you need make sure you are taking steps to motivate your employees and boost their morale.

Taking the credit, but not the flack

Managers need to able to make the tough calls and deal with the consequences of their decisions. When things go right, managers should celebrate the team’s success and when things go awry, you should take responsibility for your team’s performance.

Of course, there are many reasons people leave their employer, but it is important that you don’t let management style be the reason for a high employee turnover rate.

Director of Legal Services

James Tamm

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