“Management – with a good team and a little talent, this goes alongside!” Really? Does management really go “alongside”?
Requirements of managers
The topic “employee management” has become increasingly important. An answer to the question should provide our current frame conditions wherein leadership is played out daily in the workplace: We live in a (working) world, in which the demand of customers increases by the day. Also, the service dimension of our work is becoming more and more important. More demanding work systems and work organizations are being utilized or implemented. At the same time, the stability and duration of existing issues is getting shorter and shorter. Here, it is about taking the employees along and involving them in the changes being implemented. With good management, framework conditions must be created that allow them to perform. Changes are a constant companion of our work and characterize the interaction at interfaces in our daily business. And, as is well-known, not everyone will start cheering madly when facing changes, especially in times where changes have a special meaning.
Successful managers have to
- be aware of their role and tasks and assume them actively, take over leadership positions, even when those are not pleasant.
- think and act entrepeneurially and thus, together with the team, make a contribution to the implementation of corporate strategy.
- master everyday situations.
- recognize and work on conflicts within the team and at the interfaces.
- ask themselves how they can increase their own efficiency and that of their employees.
- be aware that requirements on them will increase and must find ways to protect themselves from overload
Management takes time, It is easy to stay in the role with the necessary degree of constancy and to tackle the managerial tasks continuously. Because in daily business, this means: you have to take time for leadership, time that is lacking in another area. However, it is important to create space for this regularly, that is, if you want to be a successful manager and if wish to be accepted as one by the employees and those at higher levels of the hierarchy. Being a manager means becoming aware of your tasks and accepting them actively even if you think you “actually don´t have any time for this”. Let´s take a look at these operative leadership tasks in more detail. Every employee has to “feel” his/her manager in all four areas (see picture below). Consequently, he/she feels that s/he is well “led” and is able to bring the ideal performance. Only in that way is a successful and trustful working relationship can be created with the manager. The employee recognizes that the manager takes “time” for him/her and feels appreciated as a person.
It is also worth reflecting regularly on yourself as a manager, maybe with professional support, and to continually ask yourself if you apply and use the management instruments and tools correctly.
Furthermore, it has to be considered that in general a team, and not just a single person, must be led to success.
When looking at the perative management tasks, that is to say the managerial working life of manager, you see that management just does not work “alongside”, but you have to actively plan and make time for it.
Strategy implementation management
The area or department goals are derived directly from the company strategy. It is important that the manager does not forget them when making decisions in daily business. It means that future decisions like the following:
- thoughtful and if necessary modified job profile for searching new employees
- staff development measures that can influence the achievement of area goals
- deputy arrangements to promote existing potentials, discharge team members or manager, or to distribute knowledge
- succession plan
should always be made with an eye on the strategic spectacles. This means that the manager has to ask him-/herself, amongst others, the following questions:
- What do I need to do or decide today so that I will be successful tomorrow and can contribute to the fulfillment of corporate strategy?
- Which competences, skills and knowledge do I have for this in my team?
- Who can best take over which tasks?
- Where could conflicts occur?
- Are all my employees deployed according to their strengths?
- Do I have to change anything regarding assignment?
- Does everybody know what he/she is supposed to do, which ones are pre- and post-processes, and why his/her task matters?
- Did I succeed in reaching my team communicatively and ensuring a good flow of information?
Good and successful management does not always go “alongside”. When leadership is a side issue, leadership will also be treated as such. And we all know what that means: decisions are made or in the worst case not at all, good employees leave the company, there is a lack of leadership personalities in the teams, the managers are too involved in the daily business and end up taking care of a lot of things that could also be done by other team members, certain areas do not develop or only very slowly, et cetera.
Management can be taught. When you compare managers of companies with top sportspersons, the following parallels can be drawn: top sportspersons are good performers. And they train every day, consult with their coach, and reflect on their performance. Good managers do likewise and are aware that leadership is something for which you can never stop learning. And this is what makes manager positions so interesting and exciting for them. Successful managers take over the leadership roles gladly and with passion on a daily basis, and know that their contribution to the success of the company is made together with their team, which they strive to empower again and again and of whom they are proud.
Eika Schoenmakers, part of Lorenz-Seminare team trainers