Executive Focus: Managing Your Managers When Things Go Wrong
As the head of a catalog company, you likely oversee a number of supervisors who are responsible for another group of employees. While dealing with and managing various management styles isn’t always easy, human resource professionals Michael Simpson and Gina McClowry offer the following scenarios and resolutions in their white paper,”Practical Approaches for Managing Managers,” which recently was released by the Society for Human Resource Management.
¥ Dealing with a manager who doesn’t support your vision. When a manager doesn’t support the company’s vision or direction, it can lead to lowered morale among the entire staff, note the white paper’s authors. In most cases, deal with such behavior with a firm hand, by explaining to the subordinate manager the importance of presenting a unified vision to employees and using discipline if necessary. Simpson and McClowry also suggest that trying to understand why the disagreement exists may help resolve it. For example, the subordinate might feel locked in a power struggle or simply lack a solid understanding of your vision.
¥ Dealing with a manager’s performance deficiencies. Often a manager’s direct reports are the first to be aware of their boss’s performance problems, which means you must focus on the staff’s concerns while being respectful to the manager. Address these issues swiftly, confidentially and tactfully, write the authors.
¥ Dealing with various management styles.”Leaders should be comfortable allowing their subordinate managers to develop their own styles of dealing with different situations as long as the results are similar,” note Simpson and McClowry. A diverse set of management approaches within a company can be invaluable, and different personality types often relate to varied management styles. However, leaders should discourage extreme diversity in managing employees, as this can lead to friction between departments, write the authors. “For example, a leader who gets the same results by intimidation will not be as preferred as the more inspiring/supportive manager,” they note.