Over the years, VAR Staffing has experienced a fair number of interesting questions regarding both our services and our clients. Some questions were straight forward and easy to answer; others gave us pause and required some thought.
One question which arises periodically is not directly related to recruiting and retention; rather it is related to management. The question has come in many forms, but the gist of it revolves around how to extract maximum performance from technical teams, and what are the characteristics of those successful managers who seem to be able to extract high performance.
While not being a management consulting firm, it is an area we truly have not conducted deep research in. But we have been fortunate to accrue some observations over the years while working with our clients. We are happy provide a tally of some of the characteristics we believe have contributed to their management effectiveness based on previous conversations.
There are certainly superstar managers out there, but obviously that is not the norm. And as you might suspect given their elite status and limited numbers, our experience with them is also limited. However, we believe our engagement with very successful managers vs. “superstars” is more relevant.
Here are some of our observations of the more successful manager’s characteristics we have worked with over the past few years. Recognize we are not saying each of the more successful managers exhibited all of these characteristics collectively, but most seemed to execute several of these attributes consistently.
1 – They practice clear, unambiguous, direct communication with employees in a positive manner.
2 – They are consistent in their management approach. As candidates have told us over the years, there is nothing worse than going to work and not know which “manager” is going to show up the next day. In other words, don’t be a Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde personality.
3 – They provide accurate, timely feedback; both positive as well as needed constructive feedback. They do not limit their coaching and professional development observations solely in annual performance reviews.
4 – They are oriented towards results, but were as committed to help their employees achieve their personal goals, as they were in achieving their personal goals. In fact, helping employees achieve their goals enhanced the probability of achieving management’s goals.
5 – They were comfortable in delegating responsibilities and duties, and did so in a manner that helped develop / improve the careers of the individuals who reported to them. To us, this seemed very closely aligned with the previous characteristic.
6 – They did not rush to judgment, but were quick to take corrective action, whether it was employee related or client related decisions.
7 – And finally, it appeared they practiced the “rinse and repeat” approach. In other words, they identified several approaches that were successful and repeated these successful approaches on a consistent basis.
VAR Staffing hopes this short summary of observed common sense management practices provides additional insight.