Whatever business model you use, you’ll need someone to manage it. There has been a lot of talk about the decreasing importance of middle managers and the main question is “do we still need them?” The answer is yes. Management is still as important as ever. But it’s role is changing.
When talking about management I am thinking mostly about middle management that historically has had a big role in department level decision making. They lead teams, get results and report to leadership (or top management). Nowadays, the business structure has chanced and it’s tempting to cut off managers and depend on direct communication. It’s true, that, in general, middle managers have less power to make important decisions. However, their role as a communicator and interpreter between senior leadership and employees is more important than ever.
The combining link
75% of people voluntarily leaving their jobs, do it because of their bosses. At the same time, bad communication and low engagement costs companies tens of millions of dollars a year. Both of these problems can be, if not solved, but minimized by a good direct manager who engages his workers and communicates with his supervisors.
It’s important to remember that for millennials and generation Z (who make up most of the workforce), recognition and a chance to improve themselves is one of the most important factors at work. So a performance based salary and perks are not going to cut it. They need direct supervisor who spend time with them a lead by example. It is the only way to keep the workers in your company. Or as Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, has said: “You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed your employees’ expectations of management”
Managers need constant attention and training to evolve with businesses and technology. However, an Harvard Business Publishing survey on emerging trends in leadership development (2012) found out that only 28% organizations felt their development programs had evolved to match the modern demands.
This “modern demand“ is mainly the demand for open communication, faster technological solutions and detailed employee feedback. That means that a manager must work with the employees and make sure his supervisors have the feedback they need to make right decisions. David Bizer, a former Google recruiter, says that a way to „manage employees is to use a performance management tool that helps to keep up the productivity level of your people.“
In Weekdone we have done just that. Our weekly reporting system is a tool that gives managers a clear overview of their team and generates a report that is easy to read and can be presented to leadership. I think that the best part of modern performance review tools: you quickly find out where the problems are and you can react before the problem starts costing money for the company.
Every business needs to be managed. This is as true as it was 50 years ago. But the world is evolving and the roles in a company must evolve as well.
Because everyone knows what happens to companies that stay behind.