It’s a conversation management doesn’t like to have; it puts a spotlight in dark areas of leadership that many aren’t sure how to tackle once the conversation is had. The scarcity principal—the feeling of never having enough, and the conformity principal—expecting people to act or behave the same as you or vise versa, is affecting the way many lead. Managers have a hard time recognizing that in order for employees to be their most productive; managers need to affect change from the top down. Cultural bad habits are hard to break because making public knowledge of, and communicating openly, means allowing yourself—as a manager—to be vulnerable. It also means having an honest conversation about change, which isn’t always easy to do. WorkSource understands that these are hard topics to talk about, but doing so will not only allow your employees to be creative and ignite the idea flame, but it will increase productivity and strengthen your workplace. Here are signals that your management style may need to change.
Has shaming become an effective tool in your management style?
Shaming may not always be recognizable, but it is in fact a poor management tool and has been known to rear its ugly head in the workplace. According to a study conducted by California State University, shaming has become a tolerable style of management. So much so that it seeps into the crevices of work culture without any awareness that it’s there. Gossip, whispered name-calling, blaming employees outright, setting up reward systems that intentionally belittle, are all considered shaming techniques. Not only can this style of management crush creativity, it creates an atmosphere of conformity; thereby increasing turnover rates and decreasing productivity.
Are you focused solely on sales or revenue?
As a manager it’s part of your nature to want to grow the business; to be in the black, but if you are doing so at the expense of your employees, then you may be chasing your own tail. A great example of this style of management is the employee who comes up with a creative new way to install a device that will allow workers to get work done at a more efficient rate and keep them safe. It’s brought to the attention of management where it is turned down because “we need to focus on profitability”. The employee is told to stick with what works and focus on how to increase margin or productivity using the familiar. Crushing innovation or thinking outside the box will not grow your business. What it will do is slow the drive and ambition of potential top performers, decrease productivity, and hide a talent pool you don’t even know exists.
Think about making changes.
The best way for your business to flourish is to create an atmosphere where innovation and creativity are promoted, where communication is top of mind, and where old ideas and customs meet the new. Certain aspects of workplace culture are fixed (mission statements, dress codes)—and they should be, because a strong foundation in a workplace creates security. With this however, people get promoted and management styles change. In order for your employees to be their most successful, and in turn your bottom line, the fear of change needs to be eliminated. You can do this by offering new trainings, seminars, and development series that foster creativity and open dialogue among staff. Even if an idea doesn’t pan out, reward workers for thinking outside the box or encourage continued creative thinking. Eliminating the fear of change or being different within a stagnant culture is the first step to creating a new and healthy management style that will make your business a leader among leaders.