Good management is the back bone of any successful, profitable business. After all, the manager (possibly you) has the responsibility for making sure everyone performs and the organization runs smoothly. Fact is most companies that are not profitable get this way because of poor management practices.
Once your business becomes bigger than you, the need for people becomes necessary. And the need for effective management becomes critical. Numerous studies and articles have been published by Forbes, INC. and business know-how to name a few, all sighting reasons why good people quit their jobs. Among the top; management! People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers!
So, what causes this problem? It’s estimated that 30 million people each year quit their jobs in search of something more meaningful, satisfying or challenging. If management is one of the top reasons, managers have a tremendous obligation to learn to manage more effectively.
In my 25 years of managing people and my current role coaching business professionals to become better managers, I see two approaches that tell me what kind of manager you are: Checking in vs. Checking on.
Good employees want to do purposeful work. They want to feel like they contribute to their own success and that of their companies. They want to be coached, not ordered about. And they want to know that their manager has their back and will work to help them become better. So, does this sound like ‘checking in management or checking on management?
Managers who use a ‘checking in’ style are prone to more collaboration. They see their employees as assets to be developed. They want their employees to take full responsibility for their actions and results. Their communication style is usually one of discussing situations and getting feedback so the employee feels empowered to hold themselves accountable for their performance.
Managers who use the ‘checking on’ style are more likely to micro managing everything the employee does. They tend to focus on catching employees doing things wrong so they can instruct them on the right way to do things. They seek little or no feedback and (by their actions) teach employees what to avoid as opposed to what to do to get better results. They may be viewed in their organizations as task masters preferring to insure that no one gets out of line.
The trouble is, while the ‘checking on’ manager might seem to be running a tighter ship, they frequently suffer from high turnover and a general atmosphere that suggests it’s better to keep your head down rather than reach for any real gain.
Do you know what kind of manager you are? Based on my experience, you may but you may not realize the consequences of your style. You may also feel justified based on past experiences of being more lenient and feeling burned by the experience. Check-in managers are no less focused and determined to get maximum performance from their teams. They just put their team members in a position to take control over their own results. They guide, question, delegate, monitor and follow up so that the employee understands that they have the opportunity to excel. The big difference is that they don’t make the work environment a demeaning place to be.
If you find yourself looking for employees to make mistakes or your routine consists of checking computer screens or company phone records, contact someone you respect and trust and ask them this question:
“If I were your boss, would you be happy about it? If not, what would I need to change?”
Then, shut up and listen. It will be the most important career advice you’ll ever receive!
About the Author:
Steve Smith is an experienced business & executive coach and President of GrowthSource Coaching based in Orange County, CA. Steve works individually with business professionals in critical growth areas that lead to top tier results for the organizations they run. Steve graduated from Frostburg State University with a degree in business management. In his spare time, Steve writes articles from a variety of business publications, travels with his wife on his motorcycle and cares for his adopted greyhound.