PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT BLOG
Management styles affecting performance
Odimbite Emmanuel Odimbite (CBS) MBA DIM B.Pharm
What is your most predominant work management style? Different styles are suited for special purposes and adopting the required style can be challenging. We shall investigate some work styles managers use and may not be aware of it. We will consider three work management styles frequently used by managers: Management by threat (MBT), Management by Deceit (MBD), Management by Reports (MBR)
Management By Threat (MBT)
Some bosses adopt management by threat to control and coordinate all employees and tasks. They consistently issue threats to employees for failing to meet deadlines. They may even engage in shouting on top of their voices or call staff derogatory names like you fool, nonentity, or idiots hoping that will make the staff change and perform better. It simply doesn’t work that way!
Bosses that use MBT have lost the power to lead and rely on any method to enforce staff compliance and performance targets. They reason that if they shout, threaten or call staff names, the staff will get the message and decide to change. These bosses aren’t aware that the more they shout and threaten the staff, the more the staff will withdraw, commit more blunders and fulfill the boss’ negative expectations. This leads to a vicious cycle of threat and shouts which reinforces employee’s wrong behavior. This is a typical lose-lose situation.
The regular use of threats of what will be done to staff and shouting when something goes amiss is a coping measure adopted by some bosses when they are under pressure to deliver expected performance from top management. It can also be a way of telling the subordinates he is the boss and so all his orders must be respected and obeyed. When staff is tired of the threats and shouting from the boss, they may shout back at the boss and the work environment becomes uncomfortable for everyone to give their best.
I was in a multinational publicly quoted bank recently and I heard a supervising manager ask one of the subordinates if she has completed the task assigned to her and the staff said not yet. This manager began managing by threats. The boss said to the staff you are so lousy and very lazy and I have been telling you this for sometime. I was surprised and in my rating, I scored the boss very low in managing staff performance. A boss isn’t invested with the right to insult or verbally abuse his staff for non-performance. Appropriate performance contract detailing these performance areas and performance indicators should address this behavior. Unfortunately, many managers haven’t developed the skill of crafting performance contracts that address job and attitudinal aspects of the job of their subordinates.
Management by Deceit (MBD)
This is a deliberate strategy to deceive his staff. The manager will tell the staff one thing whilst a totally different thing is in the offing. A boss uses this mode of management when he feels the atmosphere is full of distrust or dishonesty. He takes the mind of the employee off to something else while he is doing something else. A staff will commit an offence and the boss will deliberately deceive him into believing there will be no consequence only for a heavy penalty to be meted out in the next few days and the staff is taken aback.
Organizations also deploy this style. Two organizations may be locked in merger talks and when confronted by staff and other stakeholders, both organizations will deny any knowledge of merger talks. A month later, both organizations will announce they have merged. The question is does a merger talk get started and become concluded in just one month? Obviously not, but managing by deceit work style has been used for best reasons available to those organizations.
Bosses using management by deceit lose credibility and respect of their staff over time. Eventually, some staff may enter the game too especially if it yields great results and pervades the organization. This style isn’t always the best a boss can deploy in his career. It can destroy his record of integrity for life.
Management by Reports (MBR)
Some bosses manage by requesting a lot of reports from subordinates. These reports come in different formats and duplicated contents. The frequency can be daily, weekly, monthly, adhoc reports. In many cases, these reports aren’t read at all. Where they are read, no action is taken concerning the challenges or recommendations contained therein. It appears the essence of the report is to keep the subordinates busy doing non-core tasks. Reports can be requested before close of business with delivery deadline for first thing in the morning the next day. In other words, the subordinate shouldn’t go home until the report is completed. The order and frequency or reports become daunting as they finish one report and the next hour s another person requesting for similar reports I a different format. Staff spends significant time each day preparing reports that are never used.
Many reports are complex to be prepared and it’s usually painful for such reports to end up in trash bins after wasting precious man-hours to get them ready.
However, some bosses enjoy lengthy detailed reports and find the time to read through every detail and give feedback. This is quite encouraging. Some other bosses prefer top line executive summary. When a boss spends too much time reading reports, that boss isn’t doing the core of his job and doing the organization great harm.
Much is expected from managers and they must manage staff very professionally. Managers who are aware of these uncomfortable work management styles should make adjustments, change their work management styles and spend time managing staff performance more effectively. They should design performance frameworks, clearly communicate performance targets/deadlines, measure results obtained, motivate and increase staff productivity in the organization. This is what makes great organizations stand out.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Odimbite Emmanuel Odimbite (CBS) MBA DIM B.Pharm is an approved Certified Business Specialist (CBS) with the Academy of Business Strategy and his specialist subject is performance management strategy. He has achieved an MBA from Edo State University, a Diploma in Management from the University of Leicester and a Bachelor in Pharmacy from the University of Nigeria. He has been employed as a Strategy Consultant for various companies and has experience within the pharmaceutical, FMCG and telecommunications industries. His clients or employers have included Ages Pax, MTN Communications, GNLD International, Smithkline Beecham and Sterling Health. He has geographical working experience in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and Ghana and he speaks English. His service skills incorporate performance management strategy, facilitation, communication and customer service.