Which Management Style Will Maximize your Team’s Worth?

In today’s workplace teams are working leaner than ever, which means keeping them productive and motivated is more important than ever. Managers have the difficult task of ensuring their teams stay focused, yet creating a welcoming and positive environment. The kind of supervisory style that you possess could be a deciding factor in your team achieving its goals. Many times you already are the perfect match for your team and yet you still may need to tweak your style for specific situations to maximize performance. Before making any adjustments, you must first understand your management style.

  • Task-Centered Manager:
    • Gives clear instruction
    • Organized
    • Rewards fairly
    • Knows their job
    • Business-like and thorough
  • People-Centered Manager:
    • Willing to discuss or suggest
    • Patient and understanding
    • Emphasizes trust – We trust her/him, he/she trusts us
    • Always can be counted on to care
    • Warm and good humored

Depending on the situation and the business objectives you are seeking to accomplish, a different management style may be needed to increase motivation and maximize the efforts of your team. Another extremely important component is your employees’ style, which often dictates which supervisory style is needed or preferred. Here are some guidelines for choosing a supervisory style based on a specific situation and/or employee characteristic that will help you and your team achieve its goals:

Work Situation Recommended Management Style
People are confused or upset Task-centered
Complex technology, inexperienced employees Task centered
Undesirable, but simple and repetitive job People-centered
Self-sufficient, capable workers performing complex job People-centered
Emotionally immature workers, average skill level Task-centered
Employees are “prima donnas”, but very talented People-centered
Employees are highly interdependent, so coordination by supervisor is essential Task-centered: people centeredness depends on emotional maturity of workers
Volunteers who could quit at any point People-centered
Employees who dislike work Both task- and people-centered
Start-up of new operation with vague job descriptions Both task- and people-centered
Inexperienced, but well-meaning employees Both task- and people-centered

As supervisors, your relationships and communications with employees are always evolving and changing. How you manage them is paramount in how you influence your team’s performance.

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