- What Does Good Management Look Like?
- What Does Bad Management Look Like?
- 5 Reasons Why Being a Good Manager Helps You Retain Staff
- 2 Main Management Styles And How to Identify Yours
- When Conflict Arises …
- 5 Ways to Effectively Deal With a Crisis as a Manager
- 10 Things You Must Do as a Quality Manager
- 10 Things You Must Avoid as a Manager
Managing people is a challenging task. Not only are you the first go-to when there is a problem but you’re also responsible for motivating them, helping them, lifting them up when they’re feeling down, and ensuring results.
The buck begins and ends with the manager, but the work is done with the employees. For that reason, knowing what quality management is and how to ensure that as a manager, you’re giving your employees what they need, is vital.
Did you know that one of the main reasons why people leave an organisation isn’t because they fancy a new challenge, and it’s not because they don’t like the office furniture, it’s because of poor management. A manager who doesn’t know how to communicate with their staff and has no clue how to motivate or inspire is not going to retain their existing staff and they’re certainly not going to attract new talent to the contemporary office either.
Because quality management is so extremely important, it’s vital that you not only know the qualities of a good manager, but you also know the ins and outs of what you need to do every single day to support your employees and inspire greatness. You also need to know what is the difference between leadership and management, and how to bring it all together into one perfect storm.
Handily, you’ll find all of that and more in this useful guide!
What Does Good Management Look Like?
Management is about personality in so many ways. You need to be someone who inspires, someone who acts as a role model and someone who has empathy towards their employees. You need to be the person your employees feel they’re able to approach when they’re sitting at their office chairs and they’re struggling with their work, or they simply have something on their mind which is causing them to be unproductive at work.
They need to know that you’re not going to judge them, but they also need to respect you enough to know that when you ask them to do something, they need to get it done.
It’s a fine line and it’s something which many people struggle with. Managers aren’t supposed to just sit at their executive office desk and fire off emails with instructions. They’re supposed to be seen in and around the office, they’re supposed to be a role model, someone to look up to and aspire to be like, and they’re supposed to be someone who gets results.
That is what great management looks like.
As a manager, it’s very easy to become bogged down by targets, budgets, and all the other red tape, but if you can’t work together with your employees, if you can’t motivate and inspire them, you’re failing at your job.
Take a look at this infographic which simplifies the whole thing.
Source - https://www.bluebeyondconsulting.com/2019/11/what-makes-a-great-manager-infographic/
A manager has to be a people person, but they also have to be able to delegate too. They have to be able to think on their feet and problem solve, but they also need to plan ahead. They need to motivate and help people feel they can be approached, but they also need to command respect.
Much of this comes down to management style. That is something we’re going to talk about in much more detail later on, and whilst everyone is unique in their actual approach, most managers fall into two distinct categories, with several sub-categories beyond:
- Autocratic management style
- Democratic management style
No style is better than another, it really comes down to the situation and having the right match. For instance, McDonalds are known for having an autocratic management style and it works very well for them. However, places like Google and Microsoft have a more democratic or even transformational style of management.
There is another type, called laissez-faire. This means that the employees make the decisions and managers are there for support.
What type of style would you say exists in your office? Identify it now and then when we talk in more detail about styles shortly, you’ll be able to pull out the most useful information for your situation.
Of course, a good manager also knows that they’re never the finished article and as such, they dedicate their time to constant learning and development. This inspires employees to do the same and creates a self-development and improvement culture within a business.
What Does Bad Management Look Like?
We know what good management looks like, but what about bad management? Is it the exact opposite? Well, yes and more.
Bad management has the power to ruin a business and drag it down to the ground. Employees will decide that their days at their office desks just aren’t worth the stress and they’ll leave. New employees will hear all about the management in your business and will decide to go elsewhere too. The employees who do stay will become unmotivated, stressed, lacking in morale, and as a result, mistakes increase, and productivity takes a nose-dive. Over time, customers start to notice a dip in quality, they decide to go elsewhere too, and profits fall.
The business fails.
A poor manager:
- Is a poor listener
- Says one thing and does another
- Is a poor communicator
- Doesn’t lead by example
- Assumes they know everything
- Alienates their employees
- Makes demands rather than firm requests
- Undermines the confidence of their employees
- Bullies and calls out mistakes in front of the group
- Fails to offer praise for a good job done
- Is never seen in the office and stays in their own space
- Delegates everything
- Is a poor motivator
- Makes unfair demands and places undue pressure on employees
- Rules by fear
Can you see how all of this could create a poor working environment? This isn’t even an exhaustive list, there are managers out there who do even worse!
As a manager, the happiness of your employees reflects your skills in your job. If your employees are generally happy, enjoy their work, and they’re motivated to do their best, you’re on track. If however your employees are lacking in morale, they feel angry about how they’re treated, or they feel like they’re simply not listened to or valued, you need to take a look at yourself and make some changes.
Nobody is claiming that being a manager is an easy job – it’s not. It’s a very difficult job and one which requires you to be the good guy and the bad guy all at the same time. You cannot keep everyone happy and that’s something you’ll have to come to terms with, but it’s also a hugely rewarding job when you see the motivation of your employees and the end result hits targets, or even exceeds them.
You will only receive those results by inspiring your employees to do their best.
5 Reasons Why Being a Good Manager Helps You Retain Staff
So, how does being a good manager actually help you to keep a hold of your staff? It all comes down to how you make your employees feel.
Check out this infographic before we go on, which gives a very good overview of the habits of good versus bad managers.
Source - https://www.ultimatesoftware.com/Infographic/The-Habits-of-Good-vs-Bad-Managers
These habits will either help you lose staff or keep them, but why?
- Good management helps your employees to feel valued – A good manager doesn’t fire off orders around the modern boardroom tables and then walks out of the room, they discuss, they ask for opinions, they ask for suggestions, and they listen. This all helps employees to feel valued and when that occurs, employees are far more likely to stay where they are and work up through the business, than leave and go elsewhere.
- Good management ensures your employees are motivated and fulfilled – A good manager is also someone who leads by example. They don’t tell an employee to do something that they would never do themselves, they encourage and motivate by being an inspiration. When your employees are motivated, they want to go the extra mile and they take their work far more seriously. It’s not a simple case of ‘do what you need to do and then go home’, it’s a case of wanting to go above and beyond because it means something.
- Good management allows employees to feel able to approach you and discuss any problems – Good managers have an open door policy which allows employees to feel able to approach them if they need to. This doesn’t mean sitting at their executive office chair with the door wide open and allowing everyone in the office if they want to chat, it means employees knowing that the can if they need to, and that’s enough to make people feel supported.
- Good management creates team spirit – The combined qualities of a good manager help to create a sense of ‘all for one, and one for all’ within the office. This builds team spirit and a far more positive working environment. Collaboration is animated and successful, problems are solved, and people feel supported not only by managers, but by their colleagues too. This is a far better place to work and as a result, they’re more likely to stick around!
- Good management gives your employees something to strive towards – A manager who inspires their employees acts as a role model and creates a sense of wanting to develop and evolve as an employee. Good managers support the learning opportunities of their employees and encourage them to develop themselves on the job. This increases confidence and prospects for the future.
These five factors will ensure that your employees don’t want to defect to another business, possibly one of your competitors and instead they’re happy collaborating around the boardroom tables and working within your office space instead. Of course, this also means that potential new employees, some of the best talent around, are likely to be attracted to your business.
2 Main Management Styles And How to Identify Yours
There are several different management styles but they tend to fall into two main categories – democratic management styles and autocratic management styles. It doesn’t matter whether a manager is an introvert or an extrovert, they can have either type of style or sub-category.
Before we talk about the two main styles, check out this video which actually outlines five leadership styles which overlap and fit into these categories.
As you can see, there isn’t a one size fits all approach here, but two very distinct approaches.
Autocratic Management Style
An autocratic management style works for some businesses but not for others. Again, it comes down to the right approach according to the employees and the culture of the business. Earlier we mentioned that McDonalds have an autocratic management style, and they’re certainly not lacking in success!
The main features of an autocratic management style are:
- Managers make decisions
- There is no consultation with employees prior to decision-making
- Leaders give instructions on how to work, e.g. processes and methods
- A very structured organisation which has a hierarchy in place
From first glance, you might feel quite negative about autocratic styles but there are pros and cons to each style that need to be considered. Whilst managers make decisions without consulting employees, this may suit employees who simply prefer to get on with their work. This type of style also creates a very clear working process, with information disseminated down to employees regularly and without confusion. It also ensures that there are instructions on how to do everything, reducing mistakes and increasing productivity.
However, the downsides are clear. Autocratic management styles are quite rigid and can leave some employees feels suffocated. When autocratic styles are implemented within the wrong environment, they can lead to morale problems and a sense of ‘us and them’.
Autocratic styles are the complete opposite of another sub-section of management styles, called laissez-faire. We’ve already touched upon this, but whilst an autocratic style means decisions are taken by managers and communicated to employees as a final choice, in a laissez-faire situation, decisions are made by the employees and managers are there for guidance and support. Both have their pros and cons.
Democratic Management Style
On the other hand, we have the democratic management style which is a much more widely used option. Some of the largest businesses on the planet use this type of management style, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc, although they also give a little more responsibility to employees with regards to choices, so it tends to overlap a little with the laissez-faire option too.
The main characteristics of a democratic management style are:
- Employees are consulted on potential decisions and encouraged to put forth their ideas and suggestions
- The final decision will be made by managers, taking into account ideas and suggestions from employees
- Employees are encouraged to come up with new ideas for working and put them to managers for consideration also
- Communication is a constant thing within this type of style
Again, you can look at the list of characteristics and automatically assume that this is a better type of management style, but again, it depends upon the employees and the business. This type of style works very well when you have experienced, mature, and enthusiastic employees who want to put their ideas forward and who re quite creative in their collaborative endeavours. However, it doesn’t work so well when you have very inexperienced employees, or even employees who are very stuck in their ways.
The opportunity to have a fair say and put ideas forward can be great for morale and helps employees to feel valued, which has a direct impact upon productivity and profits. However, it can mean that working processes often change, according to new suggestions, and this can cause a problem with clarity and even an increase in mistakes for a short time.
Identifying the best type of management style for your business is key if you want to move forward in the right vein.
When Conflict Arises …
We’ve established what makes a good manager and what makes a poor one, but what about conflict management styles? How do you approach and solve a conflict when it’s occurring with the office? How would you handle a heated argument around the boardroom chairs? What would you do if two employees simply couldn’t sort out their differences?
Dealing with conflicts is a main part of the management role, although one which few managers actually enjoy. When left to fester, conflicts can be extremely damaging for morale, causing employees to almost pick sides in an argument and causing a huge rift between the team. This has a direct impact upon the level of quality you offer to your customers and clients and your productivity levels.
As a result, one of the main office manager duties is being able to effectively handle a conflict, using impartiality and understanding at all times.
- Listen to both sides of the argument and do not feel biased towards one or the other
- Remain impartial and do not treat one employee more fairly than the other
- Encourage employees to discuss the problem and come to a fair piece of middle ground
- Communicate your concerns clearly
- Work quickly, to avoid the conflict becoming worse or spreading across the office
- If the employees cannot come to a conclusion themselves, with you acting as mediator, you need to handle it yourself. This means being fair to both sides and putting the wellbeing of the office as a whole first.
- Take sides. Never take sides or even give a hint of bias to either employee
- Discuss the problem with one employee more than the other, or discuss it outside of the mediation session
- Allow it to become worse. If you notice that the conflict is starting to involve other employees, you need to take swift action, often in the form of an office meeting
- Push aside the concerns of employees, make sure they know you’re taking them seriously
Conflicts are awkward, difficult, sometimes confusing, and often very disruptive for a manager to deal with but doing so quickly will ensure that the problem doesn’t spread further and cause an even bigger issue for morale and productivity. Whilst it is to be hoped that your employees can act as adults and handle the situation in a mature way themselves, you do have to be there in the event that this isn’t possible.
5 Ways to Effectively Deal With a Crisis as a Manager
It’s not always conflict that can cause waves in the office, but a crisis as a whole. At the moment we’re in the middle of a worldwide conflict and this has caused a huge change in the way we live, work, and interact with others. Over the last few months, managers have had to make tough decisions, often very quickly, whilst also reassuring employees about their working lives. If you’re wondering ‘what is leadership’, dealing with a crisis shows you exactly what the definition is.
It’s about calming anxiety, ensuring that rumours and gossip don’t take hold, about making quick decisions, using a risk assessment mindset to choose between different options, whilst ensuring that you communicate openly and honestly with those around you. It’s about taking a risk versus benefit approach and doing you best to achieve a positive outcome. That is what makes a good manager, a leader at the same time.
Check out this infographic which talks about communication during a crisis, from a manager’s point of view and a business point of view.
Source - https://melissaagnes.com/10-new-rules-crisis-communications-infographic/
When dealing with a crisis, any crisis, you should:
- Be open and honest with your employees, to avoid anxiety and gossip
- Ask for suggestions to help employees feel involved
- Communicate regularly
- Focus on the safety, comfort, and health of your employees first and foremost
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Crises happen occasionally and thankfully, they shouldn’t be a regular deal. However, mangers aren’t islands, so if you are handling a crisis and you’re a little unsure which route to take, always ask for help and extra opinions. The worst managers never feel the need to ask others for advice, but the best managers know that they can’t be expected to know everything and they’re not above taking the advice of other people, whether that’s a senior manager, a manager from elsewhere, or an employee.
10 Things You Must Do as a Quality Manager
A quality manager doesn’t need to try too hard. They’re themselves, but with extra authority and they don’t push this in the face of anyone. They’re approachable but they’re firm at the same time. If you’re just starting out as a manager, you’ll want to ensure that you develop in the best possible way. That means knowing exactly what you should do as a quality manager in the first place.
Here are 10 must do’s.
- Communicate regularly and clearly – Don’t confuse your employees. If you need to give information, do so clearly, without any ambiguity. Also, communicate on a regular basis and don’t hide away in your office.
- Treat your employees as people – Your employees are your number one asset as a business, but they’re also human beings, just like you – treat them as such.
- Be approachable – Have an open door policy to allow your employees to approach you to talk about anything which is bothering them if they should need to. This is a key strategy in helping to lower the incidences of workplace stress too.
- Always listen without judgement – If an employee comes to you with a problem or you’re dealing with a conflict, listen carefully and make sure they know you’re listening to them. Avoid judgement at all costs – impartiality is key.
- Delegate, but do so fairly – You’re going to have to delegate as a manager; it’s part of the job. However, when you delegate, make sure you do so fairly and that you give tasks to employees who have the necessary skills and experience, and those who can handle it in terms of their current workload. Don’t overload your employees as this will lead to stress and low morale.
- Trust your employees to get the job done, avoid micro-managing – Trust your employees to do the job to the best of their ability and avoid constantly looking over their shoulder or telling them how to do something. This undermines their confidence. Build them up by showing them that you trust them.
- Show your employees they’re valued by asking for opinions and suggestions – Helping your employees to feel valued is vital if you want to keep morale high. Encourage employees to discuss suggestions and ideas and always take them seriously, mulling them over to find out if any of them are workable. You never know what creative ideas you might be given!
- Set an example – A quality manager is a role model, so make sure that you set a good example in terms of a positive attitude, punctuality, and how you treat people.
- Give praise where praise is due – If a job is done well, praise those who have done it and don’t be afraid to do so. This enhances morale, but make sure that you’re not constantly praising the same person as this could lead to resentment amongst the team.
- Support the learning and development of your employees – Encourage your employees to further develop their skills and knowledge with courses and distance learning opportunities.
For a little more insight into great management skills, check out this video.
10 Things You Must Avoid as a Manager
Of course, there are negative things you can do as a manager or supervisor too, things which must be avoided. There’s no denying that management is a challenge, but focusing upon the skills you need to develop and remembering that you can always improve, is the single best way to work towards being the best possible manager you can be.
Let’s now look at 10 of the things you should most definitely avoid as a manager.
- Keeping your door closed and being invisible – Whilst you don’t have to be on constant display in the office or have your door always open, you should make an effort to have your door open most of the time and to make yourself visible around the office space. This helps your employees feel able to approach you. The opposite simply makes them feel they can’t reach out to you if they need to.
- Calling out mistakes in public – If you need to speak to an employee about a problem or you aren’t satisfied with something they’ve done, you should do this in private and in an appropriate manner. Calling out someone’s mistakes in the middle of the office or in the middle of a team meeting is a huge no-no.
- Poor communication – Having generally poor communication skills, or an unwillingness to communicate is a sign of a poor manager. You should speak to your employees directly and avoid constantly sending emails. You should also keep them in the loop about anything which concerns them.
- Constantly saying ‘no’ – Poor managers have a tendency to be quite negative and simply say ‘no’ to every suggestion an employee comes up with, but this affects morale in a huge way. In the end, employees will stop coming to you with suggestions and ideas, because they know what the answer will be. Always consider anything which comes your way in a fair and open manner.
- Criticise without need or explanation – Some managers like to pick fault with everything, seemingly without reason. This is a form of bullying, especially if it’s always aimed towards one or two employees. Never criticise without need and again, if you need to speak about something, do so in an appropriate way.
- Have favourites – Everyone within your office is equal and you should never have favourites.
- Poor attitude in general – A generally negative and poor attitude at work makes you a poor manager too. Even if you’re not feeling particularly upbeat, you have to appear so to your employees, as part of your role as a leader and role model.
- Having a ‘one rule for me, another for you’ mindset – You may be a manager, but that doesn’t make you better than anyone else. By showing your employees that you can do what you want and they have to stick to the rules, you’re going to seriously damage morale and cause a huge rift in the office. Again, be a role model in the best way possible.
- Picking out the small details for no reason – Whilst it’s perfectly okay to want the best standard of work, avoid picking at small details needlessly. Sometimes you have to let the very small things go in order to increase the quality of the main things that matter.
- Micro-managing – A huge no-no is micro-managing. Trust your employees, don’t constantly look over their shoulder or dictate how and why they need to do something. Give them breathing space and let them work to their potential, rather than making them feel like you don’t trust them or their ability.
And there we have it, a complete guide to being a top quality manager. In many ways, a good manager is a person who trusts their employees and knows how to get the best out of them. Sure, there are other parts to the job too, such as managing budgets, dealing with complaints, and answering to Head Office, but managing your employees within the office is the most important part. This is where the work is done, this is where the quality comes from, and by knowing the major do’s and don’ts, you can ensure that customers receive a high quality service, and employees have a high quality experience.