We have all been there – a job that we love but a manager we can barely stand! Maybe it’s their managerial style; or perhaps it’s their personality and interpersonal skills that are lacking. Whatever the cause, those managers usually end up with a high employee turnover rate. As a manager yourself you want to avoid eliciting the same negative reactions from your employees.
One way to accomplish that is by learning how your managerial style can affect your work relationships. According to CBS News Money Watch, a study from the Center for American Progress reports that jobs earning up to $50,000/year (roughly 40% of U.S. jobs) cost 20% of an employee’s annual salary to replace.
Rolled into this cost is loss of productivity from losing a team member, recruiting and training costs for a new employee, and the potential loss of sales or clients during the interim period between employees.
Most employees would cite salary, benefits, career growth, and the behaviors of their managers as key reasons to leave a job. For most companies, it’s difficult to focus on developing effective leaders, and much easier to boost compensation plans. However, having been on both sides of the manager-employee coin, I can state that a bad manager was my main deciding factor to leave a promising career with a company.
So as a manager myself, I tried to pay particular attention to different managerial styles, studying various ways that effective managers hold onto their people and turn mediocre workers into star employees. Below are a few successful managerial styles that can help you to increase your retention rate.
1. The Autocratic (Authoritarian) or “Do as I Say…Now” Style. This manager does not take employee input into consideration. Heck, they might fire you for even beginning to question a practice, task, or policy. Sometimes this style can work, like when decisions need to be made quickly and when the manager obviously has the expertise to make the most knowledgeable decision. But as a day-to-day managerial style, most employees will begin to feel less like a valued team member and more like a child!
2. Democratic Style. Communication is the key in mastering this way to manage. These managers seek input from employees and have an open flow of communication between staff members. This style is most beneficial when a task requires complex decision making skills with various areas of expertise.
Here is when having a well-trained and diverse staff will benefit your company. If this style is used for all decision making then things could quickly become chaotic, so knowing when to manage this way is vital to its success.
3. Persuasive Style. This style combines characteristics of the autocratic and democratic style giving employees input into the decision making process, but having the manager maintain control of the actual decisions themselves. These managers will often meet with their team and explain why certain decisions were made to help employees feel more involved and valued.
4. Laissez-Faire Style. These managers take more of a passive role in the daily decision making and act as team consultants having the success of the team in the forefront at all times. They take a step back, leaving the decisions to the individual staff members.
5. Participative (Consultative) Style. This style takes everyone’s input into consideration which can delay the decision making process. The benefit is that everyone feels like their ideas are considered to be valued. On the flip side, a possible negative is that if after all the input you go your own way and make a different decision, the team might feel like the process was a waste of time. Having good communication skills will help to explain that while the team’s ideas are valued, some decisions just are not practical to implement and most benefit from certain experience and expertise.
6. Transformational/Inspirational Style. These managers are able to motivate employees to work toward a common goal, inspire change, and transform a dysfunctional team of employees into one that respects leadership and values diversity. These are true leaders who, through their actions can influence change within a company and get employees to want to be led.
With so many styles of management to choose from how do you know which is best for your company and group of employees? Perhaps the most practical approach in today’s workforce, with virtual teams and flexible work schedules, is one that embraces a little bit of all the managerial styles listed.
Sometimes the decisions need to be made on the fly, by the most senior of management; or perhaps a policy change requires lots of input to make sure all employees are adequately taken into account; and there are sure to be times when a looser hold on the reigns will free up valuable managerial time to focus on a pressing project. A good manager knows how to be flexible and adjust to the ever growing and changing workplace.