Is Your Leadership Style Evolving With Today’s Workforce?
In our last blog we talked about business infrastructure. Now, say for example you have the perfect amount of infrastructure – from printers to people. Once you have the ideal team, the next questions are obvious: How do I lead them? What is the most effective management style for a modern workplace?
Only someone with a bad management style would say there are right and wrong answers to those questions. The truth is, there are a range of management styles out there. People often like to think they have “cracked the code” of managing today’s workforce, then tomorrow’s workforce, and so on and so forth. Reality is, like most things in life, it depends on how you look at it. In this blog we’ll talk about the pros and cons of some modern styles of management, and how to best reap the benefits of them without the downsides!
1. Being “The Visionary”
A visionary manager creates purpose and direction that their employees believe in. In turn, this conviction to execute the vision turns into high productivity. Instilling this kind of attitude in employees is essential for staff welfare and job satisfaction. An old school tough-as-boots manager might say that those things don’t matter if people are being paid to work! However, it is being proven over and over again in modern society that unhappy, stressed workers make for an unproductive workforce. Perpetuating the idea that you are collectively one unit, striving for the same goal, will boost staff engagement and have people working seamlessly in teams to complete projects. Additionally, this type of management gives employees some autonomy over their work, as the visionary approach is very different from dictatorial styles of management. Self-direction has been proven to be a basic psychological need, and so employees will benefit from having some control over how they execute their work.
However, there is a drawback of the “visionary” manager. Simply put, it’s a hard sell. You need to be genuine about your goals and be prepared to reward the team that led you to your vision – whether this be through honest praise or promotion.
2. The Autocratic Style
The old-school managers we mentioned in the last section? You might find them here. Autocratic management is the most top-down approach to leading a team. It relies on a hierarchical system of power, whereby employees are expected to accept and execute anything asked of them – without question. You can expect autocratic managers to chew out employees who under perform – resorting to tactics of fear, guilt and shame to “motivate” staff.
Autocratic managers are also the ultimate micro-managers. Micro-managing involves policing employees and allowing little to no flexibility. For some reason, many think of a “strong leader” when they consider corporate financial success. The truth is, companies led by autocratic managers usually don’t reach great financial peaks because they can’t innovate. A small group of aggressive people calling all the shots – all the time – leads to a stagnant ideas process. Employees are not allowed to contribute perspectives and share new ideas, and thus autocratic managers will only ever be able to leverage the same strategies they’ve always had. They’ll likely make some enemies along the way too.
We said we were going to discuss pros and cons, so one benefit of autocratic management is the ability to make important decisions fast during a crisis. Given everything else that comes with it, we’ll say that’s not a huge plus.
3. The Transformational Innovator
This type of management style means always trying to stay ahead of the curve – an important factor in managing a constantly changing workforce. Transformational managers will push their employees out of their comfort zone, showing them they are more capable than they originally thought. This type of motivation greatly improves employees’ sense of self and leads to improvements in team performance. Employees rely greatly on transformational managers to be by their side and push them to succeed.
Teams led by these kinds of managers are innovative, and so can adapt to drastic industry changes. However, they also risk moving too fast in a certain direction, or spreading themselves too thin over a multitude of skills. Tranformational managers would do well to remember that it’s good to master the basics, and know how far to push their employees before they risk burning them out.
Management is one of the hardest jobs in the working world.
There’s a reason why we’ve all had at least one horrible boss! A manager shouldn’t be a tyrant, or be so concerned with being our best friend that we lose all perspective on business oriented goals. Whether your team are pouring pints or programming PC’s, it’s incredibly important to know how to manage people. As we started by saying – there are no completely wrong or right approaches to management. The most effective management style for a modern workplace will be individual to you.
Hopefully this blog helped you identify management traits you could improve on, and maybe ones you could dial back a bit! Given that this is a lot to think about – you can leave the accounting to us.