Managers have a significant influence, for better or worse, on a wide array of workplace challenges.  In our last blog article blog (Are Workforce Challenges hurting Your Business Profits?) we discussed how the manager can exert a positive role when it comes to some of these challenges.  We will now focus on some other workplace challenges and how managers can impact them.

Low accountability and alignment:  Managers can set a powerful example by being accountable themselves in all of their commitments to employees as well as in carrying out their goals and department mandate. They can also build alignment by explaining how the employee’s role supports the organization’s objectives and where their contributions bring value.

Customer service issues: If a manager is able to provide timely answers or coach an employee on how to address a service issue, this can equip the employee to handle this issue independently in the future and possibly even prevent it.

Workplace accidents: The commitment to safety starts with the managers. Are your managers walking the talk about safety by being good role models?  Do they personally follow safety practices and ensure guidelines are understood and followed?  Is safety a regular topic for review and discussion at team meetings?

Tension and disturbing incidents: These issues increase costs since poor morale and higher stress levels reduce productivity. Managers need to have a feel on the pulse of their teams to understand where potential disagreements or conflicts could escalate. Are you aware of an “elephant in the room”  – an issue everyone sees but is not talked about?  Nipping issues in the bud takes conversations with employees, good listening skills and an open mind (at times, at least part of the issue could be the manager…).

Poor execution of strategic plans (missed targets/poor allocation of resources): Through regular conversations with employees, managers can ensure that their teams are up to date on the expectations related to performance goals and on changing priorities.   By posting achievements against the team’s metrics, managers can stimulate discussion and action on improvements.   

Now that we have outlined a series of issues where managers can exert a positive influence, what next?  Becoming aware of issues by taking stock is only the beginning.  Knowing that managers have a big impact on business success begs the question, how can you help them?  Well, stay tuned for our next blog that will discuss “Supporting Managers’ Efforts to Improve Employee Performance”

If your managers need help with any of these issues, contact us. Helping managers and their employees succeed is what we do.