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Molding Management for Better Team Dynamics – an Employer’s Perspective

Organizations of all sizes want to grow. In working with small businesses and employers, we found that taking the next step in growth includes handing responsibilities to high-performing employees. But what is the best way for small businesses to train a manager? After all, even small business owners need vacation and time off in the event of emergencies. Ask any employee, and they’ll tell you that good managers are the cornerstone of a productive and engaged team. A good manager exhibits the type of leadership skills that helps employees succeed, while managers who behave badly are often responsible for prolonged absenteeism, rapid turnover, and low team engagement.

Why is Management Training Critical for Small Business Owners

It’s not just about much-needed downtime as a business owner, or training new managers on scheduling and inventory. It’s about grooming managers for the type of success that’s directly tied to the overall success of the organization. A good manager sets the tone and dynamic for the entire team and can make or break employee productivity and morale. A 2017 Gallup poll indicates that over half of employees leave a good job because of poor management. Another 2018 Harris Poll for Yoh indicated that the primary reason why employees quit their jobs is the disrespect they received from managers. As they say ‘employees don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.’ Clearly, a well-trained manager keeps teams engaged and productive without opening doors to loss and litigation for their employer.

Here we break down some common bad behaviors from managers and how small business owners can help improve their manager’s management style before it erodes morale and lowers productivity:

Micromanagement Style: This management style often stems from insecurity about the value a manager brings to a company. They often second-guess themselves refusing to give up control. Training managers who feel they lack control need assistance delegating without smothering subordinates or making them feel inferior. Managers with this style need to involve themselves without peering over the shoulders of their employees. It’s building trust.  Subordinates already know their manager doesn’t trust them. But instead of asking about a project ever day, managers need to tell their subordinates how they would appreciate an update, especially if circumstances or situations change. Micromanagers can build back trust by letting employees know just how often and in what method they want to be kept apprised of a project. If a project is priority, micromanagers should explain why they have become hands on.

Neglectful Management Style: This management style is the direct opposite of the micromanagement style. Without training, most managers won’t know what to do to support or coach employees. Often, the manager in question believes texting, emails ,and meetings is enough communication to give employees the guidance they need. But, often it’s not enough. Under this leadership employees feel invisible or that they’ve been ghosted by their manager.

Managers need to make sure employees understand the order and workflow of the business so they can also plan their time better. Otherwise, a manager’s false sense of security can lull employees into believing everything is fine, when actually issues are lying just beneath the surface. When issues become apparent, specifically from clients or customers, it has the entire team running for cover. The neglectful management style is not the most efficient way to meet the needs of customers. When it becomes evident to customers that employees are neglected, they tend to take their money elsewhere.

Bully Management Style: Known for creating hostile work environments, bully bosses instill fear in their subordinates and use intimidation to get things done. With some training and coaching, it may be evident that these managers with this leadership style may not even know they behave in this manner. Through scripts and role-playing, bully managers can mold and relearn appropriate behavior, such as to ask questions before they react and respond.

These days bully bosses can damage a company’s reputation overnight if employees choose to voice their complaints on employer-review websites. By letting these managers know that bullying behavior can limit their future career plans, small businesses can send a strong message that they need to change. If change does not seem eminent, anger management classes might be helpful.

Manipulative Management Style: These managers hoard information, choose favorites, and forge rivalry between employees. Data from employee surveys, turnover rates and employee reviews can be used to improve the skills of managers with this style. Bringing this data to a problem manager’s attention is half the battle. Business owners need to take these employee complaints seriously and make an effort to help improve a manager’s work style. 

Employees working under this management style rarely feel appreciated. But a manager can begin slowly to redeem their worth in the eyes of their subordinates. A beneficial step is setting aside time to openly thank a different employee each week for their efforts in weekly meetings. Another attempt to fill the voids forged by this divisive management style could be to hold off-site activities such as taking the ‘group’ to lunch. Even celebrating team milestones with cake and ice cream can go a long way in mending fences and building trust. 

The Lynch Law Firm works with organizations to solve employment law crisis but we work hard to ensure our clients don’t have crisis.  The Lynch Law firm employs more prevention minded staff, than attorneys and genuinely believes that an ounce of prevention prevents legal fees.  Please reach out to us and let us know how we can help you.