Managers need to be able to notice when someone is being inefficient or if their workload is too much. As a manager, they have a large amount of responsibility. Karen Meager and John McLachlan are the co-founders of Monkey Puzzle Training, and below they offer some insight into pinpointing those that need a leg up.
Managers oversee contracts, the work load and disciplinary actions. But, how they behave is fundamental within the working environment. How do your senior team react with certain situations? As humans, we become familiar with culture very quickly and if our senior teams do not seem to be doing a lot… why should you?
Start and finish times
Within a contract, it will tell you what your contracted hours are. If a company is grumbling about people leaving early or starting late, it is good to figure out why. When explored further, it was found that anyone leaving before 6pm was deemed to be leaving early, although they were only contracted 9-5 hours; as a management team, they should know exactly what is in the contracts, so why don’t they?
Leaving late is also not always good. Some people believe it shows how dedicated you are to your work, but in reality it could be one of two things, are you staying late because you are not able to complete all the work in the 8 hours or are you being overloaded with work? With both of these situations, the management should be stepping in. If the former, they should be helping and advising you to better your time management. Whereas, if it is the latter, perhaps hiring new people in the department would be beneficial and help people stick to the correct times.
Another finding was that people came into work on time but would stand around talking to their work friends whilst having their morning coffee and breakfast. Or people strolling in a few minutes late, but are not worried. The question is, why have the management team made them feel like this is acceptable?
A good manager should be pulling them up on it before it turns into something ‘normal’ for the work place. You should want a good, effective and strong culture within your team, so addressing these issues is essential.
Having good leadership skills does not always come naturally to people but it is essential in a senior team. Knowing that being a good leader and manager is not all about barking orders is a good place to start. You need to have trust – your employees should know and feel that they can come to you for advice if they are bothered by a situation. Time and energy needs to be installed into the team to encourage a positive work ethic thus creating a successful work life culture. Supportive, trusting, motivating and inter-personal skills are all assets that you would notice when working with a strong manager.
A strong manager
It is very important to have a healthy work life balance. A good manager should encourage this, therefore ensuring that work is delegated fairly to prevent a work overload for certain individuals is important. They should not allow people to slip too much when it comes to their work ethic as this can produce unhealthy behaviour. If someone seems to be slipping, it should not go unnoticed by senior staff – in this situation having trust between staff and management is important so they can talk confidently to each other. Another sign of a strong manager is being a good listener and taking into account the feelings of their staff.
What to do if you have a weak manager
Everyone once in a while, you may come across a weak manager and dealing with this can sometimes seem daunting. Arranging a meeting to discuss issues that may have arisen is necessary to prevent future problems; suggest ideas on how to solve them.
Staying motivated is difficult when it comes across that your manager does not care, but finding ways to keep yourself and the team driven will only benefit you in the future.
Finally, above anything else, remain fixed on your end goal. All work can be hard and with a weak manager, it is made a lot more difficult but you wanted this job – whether that be to gain more experience within the field or develop your skills for future roles.