If you run a business of any size, you might be underestimating the impact that middle management has on the rest of your team. Your managers are the people who make sure your employees are focused on their tasks, maintaining high standards, and working well together to accomplish your company’s goals. Having reliable, good-quality managers is important if you want to maintain high morale, increase employee loyalty, and boost productivity.
But what is a “good manager”? Contrary to popular belief, being a “nice boss” is better for productivity than being a “tough manager.” “Nice bosses” are competent managers with great communication skills who know how to rally a team toward a common goal. They treat other people with respect while maintaining high standards. They understand their industry well and know how to optimize processes to make workflows smoother.
This breed of bosses is great for any company, but they’re hard to come by. According to the 2020 Monster Poll, 48% of workers do not feel their boss is supportive. That’s not good if you’re trying to make sure that your employees are able to use their expertise to the best of their abilities and get the support that they need to do so. In fact, poor leadership directly inhibits progress and can lead to a 48% decrease in team effort and a 38% decrease in work quality.
So, how do you pick the perfect manager? It may be simpler than you think! One thing to consider is opening your available management positions to your internal employees first. That will give your staff a chance to advance in your organization and will ensure that they are properly aware of the responsibilities, issues, and processes that the employees they are managing have. These employees will also have a preexisting relationship with the teams that they manage, which will make your employees more open to following their guidance. If you possibly can, hiring your managers internally is a great choice.
If you have to hire externally, it’s important to screen your managers for “company fit” and experience. Yes, a candidate may have 10 years of management experience, but that doesn’t mean much if they have no experience in your specific industry. For example, if you run a garage and your manager has only ever worked in IT, they will not be able to properly communicate with your team when there are issues. It will also be harder for your employees to follow the guidance of someone who has never worked in their industry and knows less than they do about the field.
In terms of screening for “company fit,” you need to make sure that your managers are going to treat your team with respect. Having rude or pushy managers isn’t just bad for business and morale, it’s bad for your employees’ health. A study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employees who work in a stressful environment are 50% more likely to suffer cardiac illness. That’s not good if you’re looking to foster a supportive, open work environment where your employees are loyal to your company. So make sure that your new managers understand how important it is for them to be courteous and compassionate leaders.
Hiring competent, courteous managers is essential if you want to grow and maintain your current business. By making sure to open management positions to current employees, screen for good communication skills, and prioritize expertise, you can improve your management team and create a more productive work environment.