Traditional management styles that may have worked in the past just won’t cut it in today’s modern business culture, adopting a progressive approach is key to growing your ever-evolving business.
The traditional style of management used to function well by using top-down positional authority. Do what the leader says, and everything works. One of the key problems of this management approach is that it prevents people from using their initiative and taking ownership over their work, Product quality and service complaints come to workers on the front line, those same workers are the ones who will see these problem areas first. If there’s no avenue or incentive to proactively search for solutions, they’ll either get forgotten, lost, or ignored.
A progressive approach to this is to use strengths-based leadership and let your workers contribute to problem-solving and procedural improvements, both internal and external. Having that feedback loop from the workers who are hands-on with the customers to the decision-makers in the leadership team will create reciprocity that will improve the overall morale of your team.
The traditional mentality of “if it’s not broke don’t fix it.” The assumption is that if your sales are up, there is no need to strive for improvement. Innovation doesn’t stop just because a product is successful, or else there would be only one iPhone. While it is important to give the people what they want, it is still important to bring to their attention new ideas or products.
The progressive mentality is to prioritise continuous quality improvements. Incorporate feedback from customers and employees, and continually make changes to continuously improve. When your employees see their contributions making a difference, they will feel heard and respected. The result? They feel a sense of ownership, and that’s where loyalty originates.
Traditional, Formalised Performance Reviews. If performance reviews only happen at regular and predictable times per year, the value of that feedback dramatically diminishes. Continuous improvement only happens with constant and consistent feedback that’s in the moment. If a leader learns of an employee or team who achieved a goal, there’s no reason to wait two months to tell them about it. Conversely, if an employee is making mistakes, rather than have them wait two months to hear about it, bringing these issues to their attention promptly would put them in a position to improve immediately and not jeopardise their position or reflect poorly on the company.
The progressive way is to deliver feedback in the moment, more frequently, and address both positives and negatives from a problem-solving approach that seeks continuous improvement, rather than from a fearful position of the leader looking down on and evaluating the performance of the employee. This day to day approach produces the culture of growth and the sense of ownership you want in the team.
Overall the traditional method of management doesn’t work in this modern climate. In a time where employees are mainly working from home, and teams are physically separated, too many people slip through the cracks. As leaders, we want to stay connected with our team, have a strong channel of communication with our team, create a culture of growth and a spirit of collaboration within our team. These are the values that will help you evolve in your style of leadership, no matter what challenges our teams face.
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