Managers must serve for the benefit of their employees. Sometimes we get that message backwards. We think we only serve the executives. In fact, we serve employees because they are ultimately the ones who will decide if the organization will succeed or fail. Why did you become a manager? If you became a manager so you could boss people around, you will fail. It doesn’t work, never has, and never will. If you became a manager to make things better for those you work with, then you are on the right track. Now you will become the most effective if you keep this in mind.
If you focus on the needs of your employees you will improve the overall performance of any part of an organization. I am not suggesting you take your employees to raise. Nothing of the sort is true. You do need to realize what your employees need in order to perform at their highest level. They need tools, techniques, support and they need backing when conflicts arise. And yes they will need coaching. They need to know that you will be in their corner to support them. They may not always be right but they will always need your guidance. They also need to know where you stand and where they stand with you. They also need to know that when they are not around you are looking out for their best interest and would never doing anything intentional to harm them.
As a manager you also represent middle and executive management. You are now a bridge between these groups. Your job is diverse because you must support the administration but not at the expense of the trust and support of staff. You must develop a set of negotiable preferences as well as non-negotiable principles and make sure you and everyone else knows what they are.
All employees want to succeed. They just need to be well informed as to how. They need guidelines, direction, inspiration, and even a set of boundaries for their work. We all feel more confident when we know what is expected of us.
Here is something else you should realize, studies indicate employees don’t leave their jobs, they leave their employers, and their managers. Organizations are dependent on retaining talent.
The management role is often the most ill-prepared and undervalued function in any organization. In fact, I would estimate that only two in ten supervisors are properly prepared for their supervisory roles. Now most supervisors would not admit this but if they were prepared, organizations would fair better in any economy.
In conclusion, as a manager you did not take your employees to raise. But you did accept responsibility to raise them to the next level of productivity and you did agree to take on responsibility for their results. You also agreed to bridge the gap that exists between them and executive management and to promote a more harmonious work place, one that strives for high performance. Now go out and become a life-long-learner and find out what is lacking in your tool box.
Article originally appeared in Ezine Articles