Managers: Are You Spending 50% of Your Time with Team Members?

practice

You’ve arrived. The word manager is in your title. Maybe that word even appears on a little plaque outside your office or your cubicle wall. Now comes the fun stuff – the flexible hours, the expense account lunch, afternoons schmoozing on the golf course… If that’s your idea of being a front-​line manager, you need a new plan. David Brock tells how it’s done in a new LinkedIn post that you shouldn’t miss.

If your management title went to your head at first, it’s time to come back to Earth. Being a manager is not all about ordering top of the line furniture and coming into the office whenever you want. You have people counting on you. Often, these people have had little training. When they run into a snag, they’ll hit the pause button until they can talk to you. This situation isn’t conducive to productivity or employee engagement. That’s why Brock encourages front-​line managers to spend 50% of their time "working with them [the employees] – coaching, teaching, collaborating, discovering–not telling."

New salespeople need you to see them in action. You’ll have to ride along on sales calls or listen in when they’re giving web-​based presentations. Investing this kind of time is the only way you'll learn the strengths and weaknesses of each salesperson on your team. For example, maybe you've realized one of your team members has a hard time changing his sales pitch to accommodate a different type of client. If your company offers an automated tool to help you establish a coaching plan and track progress, make use of the functionality to help your salesperson change his behavior. These kinds of tools can also help you save time and improve outcomes.

Brock acknowledges that managers have to spend significant chunks of time dealing with crises and sitting in meetings when they'are also facing pressure to train and support their team members. This acknowledgement is a stark reminder about the truth of a management position. You will be working longer hours than everyone else in the department. Take the time that’s necessary to do the job well. Give your team members what they need and deserve and you’ll be rewarded by higher profitability and loyalty.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.