A high performing team deserves a manager of similar calibre. An effective manager balances team accountability and autonomy with overall guidance for tough or sensitive decisions. Finding management candidates who understand the need for such a balance is difficult. A survey by Gallup suggests that companies choose the wrong candidate for a position 82 percent of the time.
Quality of management explains 70 percent of the variance in the results concerning employee satisfaction. The survey shows that only 30 percent of full-time workers are inspired by their jobs and managers, and 20 percent of workers feel dissatisfied. Gallup reports that well-managed teams provide the most benefit; for example, they experience fewer accidents and contribute to lower healthcare expenses. Improving employee engagement through better management lowers staff turnover.
Randall Beck and James Harter of the Harvard Business Review recently provided some insights and some pointers for finding effective managers who can lead and motivate your team.
- Seek management candidates who communicate a mission. Manages should be assertive and possess the ability to stimulate employee productivity. They should exhibit the ability to create a culture of accountability and not feel the need to micromanage. They should be able to allow for mistakes, both their own and those of staff, to find innovative solutions. Additionally, they should be able to foster a culture of trust.
- Gallup estimates that only ten percent of candidates will possess all of the required traits. Companies should develop a management pipeline among existing employees who show management potential and train them for management roles. However, Beck and Harter emphasize that unless a substantial percentage of management traits are innate, the effort for some individuals may prove exhausting and inefficient in the long run.
- Extensive experience in an industry does not necessarily mean that an individual will thrive in a management role. A stellar programmer will not necessarily manage people effectively, or even want to. Natural managers are often the individuals who by default lead team projects. Seek feedback from your teams to help you identify which staff might be potential leaders and whom other staff would support as managers.
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