Is Your Team Management Style Driving Top Results?

BY Austin Richards
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Is the lack of employee engagement linked to your team management style? To answer this question, you could survey team members for their honest input. But since employees generally fear retribution for being honest, you may need to go into stealth mode.

I’m not talking about spying on your employees’ breakroom conversations or their chats on the in-​office messaging system. That would be creepy and unethical. You have other ways to determine whether you could be the cause of team unhappiness – starting with a self-review.

Is Your Team Management Style Driving Top Results?

One way to accurately assess your workplace behavior is to review the results of your psychometric assessment. This detailed report, especially the one from TeamTrait, measures your managerial fit with each team member.

In addition to a raw numerical score, you can also see exactly where mismatches occur. If you are more results-​oriented than some of your employees, you may need to demonstrate a more chill attitude.

Are you prone to rushing around like every project is a huge emergency? If so, your adrenaline-​fueled rants may be burning out your mellow employees.

Do your assessment results flag you for a tendency toward toxic behavior in certain workplace situations? Don’t be upset about these results. Consider them objectively and allow for the possibility that they are correct.

Adjust Your Responses

Then take corrective action as necessary. Some managers don’t pay enough attention to the way their team management style impacts employees. They may even hold the opinion that employees should learn to live with their outbursts or lies.

A better approach may be to consider the cause of your negative actions. You may feel frustration building during a meeting because specific employees haven’t finished a task on time. That frustration may be all about the pressure you’re feeling from your boss.

Instead of calling out your employees, work with them to find solutions to avoid another late project delivery. And then assure your boss that you have taken action to stop the problem from happening again.

Let Go of the Last Word

Another tendency of managers that employees dislike is the need to always be superior or have the last word. In her article for Chiefexecutive​.net, Susan Annunzio labels this behavior: condescension.

If you truly want to empower and enable your employees to do their best, make a conscious effort to stay quiet. In meetings, ask more questions instead of pontificating. Remember to praise employees who come up with proposals or answers.

If you’re feeling insecure about yourself or your role in the organization, don’t use your employees to empower yourself. They already assume that you possess great knowledge and talent. They look to you for help in their skills development and future careers.

Employees hesitate to openly criticize their supervisors. Who can blame them? They want to get the best assignments and recommendations from their managers.

If you don’t conduct yourself appropriately, your employees will show their unhappiness by disengaging.

Don’t Avoid the Tough Topics

26% of sales reps believe a lack of critical thinking is a major weakness of their manager. And 22% believe managers need to work on their honesty and integrity. These scores speak to managers’ hesitation to tackle what Dina Denham Smith calls the “undiscussable” topics.

If you’re holding a grudge against the supervisor of another team and your employees know it, they’ll avoid that topic. They may have a great idea about a product update that would involve the “enemy” department. Don’t expect them to bring it up if they suspect you’ll react badly.

You can avoid these situations in general by keeping your negative thoughts and comments to yourself. As a mature and professional manager, employ a positive team management style. Engaging in petty squabbles with a peer in another department detracts from your reputation.

Team progress can also stall out if you veer away from projects that possess an element you don’t like. The project may include a technology you don’t understand. Or it could be based on a topic that burned you in the past.

Own this fear and find a way to conquer it. Your personal issues are not reasons to hold back your team. Employees are savvy enough to realize they have leverage in today’s job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently pegged the number of open positions in the U.S. at 8.8 million. 

Your employees may have initially joined the company to improve specific skills or work in their dream industry. But they won’t put up with a problem manager for long.

You may already know that most employees put their managers under a microscope. They study the manager’s facial expressions, body language and word choice. They’ll also discuss you behind your back.

Knowing this can be intimidating. But if they see you actively working on your team management style, they’ll respect you.

Photo by CottonBro Studio on Pexels.