Simon talks ‘hands off’ management and why it’s so important for creating a happy and healthy workplace culture.
By Simon Underwood
You’ve made it! You’re a manager! The world is your oyster and there are minions all around you ready to do your bidding! However, with great power comes great responsibility. You‘ve probably worked your way through the ranks and understand how everything works and how you want things done, right down to the finest details. Unfortunately you no longer have the time to monitor every single thing that happens under your leadership. There needs to be an element of trust, delegation, patience and understanding.
Your team is there to save you time and allow you to focus on the ‘grand vision’, however there needs to be some time taken to explain the task, define expectations and space made for potential errors. This may seem like a lot to do, but it’s all time well spent that you will get back in employee satisfaction and the development of the team. Plus you’ll save lots of time in the long run!
Although, there does need to be an understanding from you as the manager even though you might have delegated the task in a certain way with certain parameters. Your staff will add their own style to the finished product, and provided it works, this might not always be an issue.
You also need to be open to new ideas from your team, when they ask ‘why’ about processes and procedures. Explain how you got to these decisions, be ready to receive new ideas and potentially better ways of working.
Patience and understanding are an essential part of hands off management. Patience with team members who could be slow to pick up a skill or have differing opinions on the best way to tackle a job. You need to understand each team members’ strengths and weaknesses too.
I had a member of staff once who could be volatile in staff group situations and yet his customer facing skills were second to none. So anytime he might be required to work with team members that he might rub up the wrong way, I would send him to work on his own in the customer facing areas, maintaining a happy and effective team.
In summary I refer to a Duncan Bannatyne quote I once heard on Dragons Den ‘I don’t do anything, I have people who know what they’re doing do it for me!’ This made me laugh when he said it, but I’ve tried to apply this in my managerial roles and if I didn’t have someone that knew what to do I would then spend time developing the team to fill the gap – time well spent so I could do nothing!
If you have any questions about anything you’ve read in this blog, just drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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