Do you utilize your managers in a way that allows them a path to success?
Many companies waste their managerial talent. It’s easy to do! Instead of using your managements’ minds creatively, they are merely used to relay orders from the top. In a healthy company, a manager is free to use his or her mind and to exercise responsibilities.
Studies show that alignment of responsibility, accountability, as well as good communication, decision making, and goal setting by management results in higher departmental productivity. How do you foster those behaviors in your managers? The answer is simple, but challenging to implement.
Consider your first line manager. He or she has one essential responsibility: to motivate and inspire their team and create an atmosphere that brings out the best in everyone. Frequently, when 1st line managers run into a problem, their first inclination is to solve the problem themselves – in a technical way. Instead, they should think about which of their employees could grow most by solving this problem. This is an important question to address.
Why? The 1st line manager is the personification of the organization’s values, management policies, and what the company stands for in the eyes of the employees doing the work. He or she is the point of contact between the operator and the rest of the company. If the manager is unfriendly and unwelcoming, the company is unfriendly and unwelcoming; if the manager is considerate and supportive, the company is a good place to work.
First line managers should possess or develop the following characteristics:
- They must be predictable, consistent, and fair in their leadership, showing no favoritism. Favoritism and inconsistency kills trust.
- They must genuinely enjoy helping people be successful. Their personal success should be measured through the success of their people.
- They must possess good communication skills with the ability to inspire others to follow their lead and stretch their personal performance levels.
- They should be good listeners. This means they listen more than they talk – including listening and watching for what a person may be trying to say but can’t bring themselves to state clearly.
Employee morale never diminishes in importance, regardless of the management level a person attains. A manager always remains accountable for the morale of their team. That is a critical ingredient of productivity.
Low-morale departments are never efficient, nor are low-efficient departments high in morale. Conversely, high morale departments are almost always high in productivity. If you can build a workplace where managers are evaluated on the growth and success of their employees, then you have a solid model for success.