Managers Make the Difference

Zelle understands great managers are essential to your business success. Effective managers understand the vision and strategy, and translate “what” needs to be achieved into how it will be accomplished. Daily discipline is key to aligning long term goals with implementation. This dynamic is why great managers really do make the difference.

Context, clearly articulated by a company’s high-level leadership, is a first step to manager’s success. These leaders have perspective managers must understand. Market conditions, competition, business performance and business strategies are just a few of these. Without this perspective, many managers will default to the role of a supervisor-monitoring if people are meeting basic job expectations. 

Some of your most valuable managers will double down on their efforts-even without clear direction. Too often, potentially outstanding managers will then struggle as they experience unclear expectations, missteps, false starts, and wasted energy. Rest assured the best will eventually find a job where they can express their talent with less frustration. Company leadership should invest heavily in the development and success of their managers. 

Social media supports ideas which can easily mislead managers. A major myth is that employees are motivated by amenities and “feel good practices”. Workplaces should be welcoming and strive to bring some “fun” into the formula. Yet, these types of satisfiers will never replace managers leading people in a way which is motivational

Consider the following additional areas where you should help managers excel:

Relationship Building- If a manager fails to maintain relationships with employees, they are simply providing supervision. Giving directions and defining expectations cannot replace an ongoing and interactive relationship with employees. People need guidance and support to stay focused on success factors and the unique contribution they can make. They need an individualized relationship.  

Strengths, Talent and Skills- It is impossible to hire people with the perfect talent profile. Managers need to understand what a person naturally brings to the job, and what areas are going to require more support, coaching and development. This managerial responsibility is an ongoing and evolving discussion. Change is constant in businesses, and without ongoing clarification high performers can find themselves off track, out of focus, and generally feeling unsuccessful.

Reward and Recognition- Managers need to understand what behaviors and metrics define employee success. When they see it, they need to lock it down. This means knowing how they will reward value added behavior. Managers who believe “people are getting paid to do a job and don’t need a lot of attention” are just wrong. Recognition and reward, which is tailored to individuals, is a powerful way to maximize individual performance.   

Process Management- Organizations are by nature complex, and have multiple moving parts. Critical processes define practices essential to successful business outcomes. Businesses evolve rapidly. Managers have a key responsibility to guide employee understanding and reactions to changes in processes and structure. This is a key aspect of setting employees up for success.

The management of people is hard work because employee success is best addressed one person at a time. Individualized approaches to management will always trump reliance on broad and loosely defined expectations. Don’t be misled. Employees will come to a company based on promises of fun and engaging work environments. They will stay and excel when managers know how to help each person be successful. 

The above discussion scratches the surface of a manager’s role and essential skill set. Zelle offers avenues to develop great managers through training, education, and coaching support. We understand what people need from their manager.

Please contact us for more information on the ways we can help.

Courtney Brockman