Most managers in the Auto industry are rarely trained to be Managers of people. It’s no wonder that they make significant mistakes in their daily management of employees. It is evident that they need support and practice in developing soft skills to effectively manage.
More importantly, many managers lack sensitivity and awareness needed to interact effectively all day long with people. They tend to be highly focussed on the numbers which can result in the inability to notice how the people around them are feeling. The best managers fundamentally value and appreciate people. They also excel at letting people know how much they are valued and appreciated.
How important is it to help your managers succeed? How they manage their reporting staff members set the tone for your entire business operation. Managers are the front-line representation of your business.
Hire Managers for Managing People
In a job description for a manager, core job functions, traits, and abilities are listed. With this as a guide, manager selection should focus on both the management skills and the candidates' cultural fit. Since they are in a position to influence a large number of your employees, you want to make sure that you get both components right.
In a people-oriented, forward-looking organization, you'll want to interview and select managers who exhibit these characteristics.
Believe in two-way, frequent effective communication and listening
Want to create an environment in which employees are empowered to take charge of their jobs
Able to hold people accountable and responsible without using punitive measures
Demonstrate leadership and the ability to set a clear direction
Believe in teamwork
Place the customer at the center of their reason for existence and regard reporting staff as customers
With all of this in mind about managers, preventing management mistakes and dumb decisions is paramount for a successful organization. Do you want to become a better manager? Here are the managing behaviors you should most want to work towards.
1. Provide Clear Direction
Managers fail to create standards and give people clear expectations, so they know what they are supposed to do, and wonder why they fail. If you make every task a priority, people will soon believe that there are no priorities. More importantly, they will never feel as if they have accomplished a complete task or goal.
Within your clear expectations, if you are either too rigid or too flexible, your reporting employees will feel uncertain. You need to achieve an appropriate balance that allows you to lead employees and provide direction without dictating and destroying employee empowerment and employee engagement.
2. Listen to Your Employees
Active listening is a critical management skill. You can train managers in listening skills, but if the manager believes that listening is a way to demonstrate that he or she values people, training is usually unnecessary.
Listening is providing recognition and demonstrating your values in action. When employees feel heard out and listened to, they feel important and respected.
When employees resign, one of the top reasons for their resignation is their relationship with their manager. People often leave managers, not jobs or employers. (They also leave for reasons such as lack of opportunity, low work flexibility, inability to achieve growth and development in their jobs, and boredom.
3. Ask For Input Before Making Decisions
Enabling people to make decisions about their work is the heart of employee empowerment and the soul of employee engagement. Don't throttle them.
4. Address Problems and Issues Immediately
Managers have a habit of hoping that an uncomfortable issue, employee conflict or disagreement will go away on its own if they don't provoke it or try to resolve it.
Issues, especially among people, get worse unless something in the mix changes. Proactive intervention from the manager to coach and mentor, or to make sure employees have the skills necessary to resolve the issue, is imperative. Drama and hysteria do interrupt productivity, motivation, and employee engagement.
5. Communicate Effectively
The best communication is transparent communication. Sure, some information is company confidential. You may have been asked to keep certain information under wraps for a while, but aside from these rare occasions, share what you know.
Being a member of the in-crowd is a goal for most employees, and the in-crowd has information—all of the information needed to make good decisions. Ask people for their opinions, ideas, and continuous improvement suggestions, and if you fail to implement their suggestions, let them know why, or empower them to implement their ideas themselves.
6. Treat Everyone Equally
You don't necessarily have to treat every employee the same, but they must feel as if they receive equal treatment. The perception that you have pet employees or that you play favorites will undermine your efforts to manage people.
It goes hand-in-hand with why befriending reporting employees is a bad idea. Employees who are not in your inner circle will always believe that you favor the employees who are—whether you do or not. This perception destroys teamwork and undermines productivity and success.
7. Take Responsibility
Rather than taking responsibility for what goes wrong in the areas that you manage, blame particular employees when asked or confronted by senior leadership. When you know the responsibility is ultimately yours if you are the boss, why not act with dignity and protect your employees? When you blame employees your employees will disrespect and hate you.
Trust this. They will find out, and they will never trust you again. They'll tell all of their employee friends about what you did. Your other staff members will then distrust you, too.
Your senior managers will not respect you either. They will question whether you are capable of doing the job and leading the team. When you throw your employees under the bus, you jeopardize your career—not theirs.