Two Ways to Manage

February 23, 2017

An easy way to manage is to do nothing. 

•    Let employees do what they want. 
•    Hope customers are satisfied.
•    Do not expect results.
•    Communicate as little as possible.

On the flip side, a more difficult but positive approach to manage is to be actively involved.

•    Oversee employees, mentor, and train.
•    Insist on top quality customer service.
•    Set objectives and expect results.
•    Communicate constantly with all levels of employees.

Who Do Employees Look To?

Employees take their cues from owners and managers. When management has a lackadaisical attitude about operations, products, customer service, costs, etc., employees spontaneously feel that same apathetic philosophy regarding their jobs and employer.

Management's Responsibility

Since businesses do not run on autopilot, it must be management's responsibility to manage with a three-fold purpose:

•    Ensure the success of the business.
•    Provide for customer satisfaction leading to long-term business success.
•    Train and inspire employees

A basic premise of good management is grounded in the principle of communication allowing employees at all levels to be informed, engaged, and empowered. Production, efficiency, and quality increases as employee commitment increases.

Smart Manager vs. Inefficient Manager

While a smart manger:

•    Communicates with employees
•    Coaches and develops
•    Provides for an atmosphere of teamwork
•    Uses the term "we" more than "I" 
•    Gives credit for outstanding performance
•    Solves problems and seeks solutions rather than finding blame 

The inefficient manager:

•    Communicates very little with employees
•    Leaves learning up to individuals
•    Fosters an atmosphere among employees of "me first" rather than teamwork
•    Uses the term "I" more than "we" 
•    Takes credit for progress
•    Places blame whenever possible

Strong Management Presence

When there is a strong management presence, employees demonstrate a stronger commitment to the business, their individual jobs, and to customers. This pattern is evident whether a business is a sole proprietorship where the owner is basically management or in a larger organization with multiple layers of management. 

For a small business or SME to grow and prosper as much as possible, management must be involved. All managers must practice good management principles all the time. They cannot be practiced one day and not the next or by one manager rather than all managers. If employees are expected to give their best to the business day in and day out, management's duty is to do the same.  

Management Training

Just as employees need training in different aspects of their jobs to excel, managers likewise need training. Management is natural for some but not for all. Many employees get promoted into management by either doing an outstanding job that warrants a promotion or through seniority. This does not mean, however, that those individuals make excellent managers. In fact many times, employees promoted into management positions fail in their new jobs due to lack of management skills and training. Managers like employees must be mentored and trained. 

Which Manager Are You?

So, there are two ways to manage. Consider what type of manager you are and what you can change that will lead to better employee and business performance. One is easier than the other; however, one produces much greater results than the other.