We Need Good Managers
Gallup* claim that 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement scores is attributable to managers and how effectively they guide their teams. Research shows that it is managers who transform teams by engaging their people and enabling each to play to their strengths and organising work to best leverage the talent of the team for the benefit of the organisation.
The CIPD recently reported that management style is cited by 43 percent of employees as detrimental to their health and wellbeing. The CIPD quote a report by workplace learning provider Grovo, Good Manager, Bad Manager which describes a good manager as “like a team leader, coach, trainer and psychiatrist all wrapped up into one”. What a nice idea; how many managers do you know who fit that description?
Organisations have invested in management training for many years, business books on management and leadership abound, many of us have attended training and acquired qualifications but do we have effective managers? Not if UK productivity statistics are used as a measure.
Dr Clare Rigg at the University of Liverpool Management School says that learning to manage is an ‘ongoing project’ rather than something which can be taught in the short-term. She believes organisations should focus on preparing managers to step up as needed. All too often people are promoted because of technical excellence without having much management experience or training, they are just expected to ‘manage’ whatever their expertise and preference.
We need good management skills; good managers are essential for success. A good manager inspires hard working, productive, collaborative teams. They also attract talented staff, enabling the organisation to become an employer of choice; good managers mean staff are engaged, committed and energised. The relationship between the manager and staff is key.
What Does Good Look Like?
- Good managers coach staff and offer guidance and mentoring
- Good managers inspire engagement and commitment
- They welcome feedback from staff and give staff a voice
- They delegate, empower and provide development opportunities
- They value the contribution of each team member and celebrate their successes
- Good managers show staff how they contribute to organisational success
The obvious common denominator is communication. Being able to communicate with the team is critical for an effective manager. Not just in communicating role responsibilities and expectations, but in listening to the team and working with them to produce results aligned with organisational strategy. Trust and transparency also come into play, as if a manager doesn’t respect staff, or staff don’t trust their manager then the result will be tension in the workplace.
Not everyone will become a great leader, not everyone even wants to become a manager. Either way in any leadership role it seems clear that good managers need to be open to new ideas, adept at managing change, encourage excellence from team members and able to communicate clearly to foster creativity and collaboration. It’s important to realise that management is a learned skill; and one that takes time and involves learning from mistakes while growing into the role.
We think a good starting point is to focus on creating a collaborative environment is a key step for managers so that the team can work in supportive culture. A good manager should demonstrating commitment and positivity for their work to inspire the same in the team as a whole.
*Gallup, “The Matrix: Teams Are Gaining Greater Power in Companies”, May 2016 http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/182378/one-people-possess-talent-manage.aspx
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Posted: Friday 3 May 2019