During lean times a lot of business focus can be on how to get the most from employees, using all the resources in a company. When times get better, one of the challenges can be how to manage growth. In either situation, improving management capability can see you through the tough times and make sure you don’t get left behind in times of increased growth.
A new OMT Global client had concerns about the ability of their “managers to take on large increases in production volumes considering there were already substantial cultural issues and staff unrest together with long hours and poor training practices”. If ever there was a need to work on management capability, this was it. The client was on board with addressing the issues mentioned, as part of its overall business strategy, resulting in tangible increases in production and satisfaction with the progress of managers. How do you go about improving management practice when there are other stresses on the business? You need to start with the culture of the workplace.
Company Culture Matters
Ensuring improved management capability goes hand in hand with making sure the company culture is one where managers feel valued and have some degree of autonomy. They also need to have the confidence and respect of employees; an absence of these have often been cited as a cause for conflict. Real or perceived underperformance of managers can have real impact on staff morale, output and results. There are ways to tackle the problem, not least by bringing a culture of openness and a focus on planning for the future.
Plan and Coach
To make changes to the ability of managers within your company, you need to make sure that you have agreed goals and that people feel they have a stake in deciding them. Your management staff will be vital in their own continued improvement.
- Strategic planning is key. Establish an agreed vision of the future along with focused and aligned strategic priorities.
- Detailed planning is vital. How are you going to execute the overall plan? Improving management processes will require looking at how resources are spread out, how roles are assigned and what specific actions can be taken to meet the agreed business goals. Make sure to plan for growth in the business too.
- Behaviours have to be looked at. If there is a communication deficit, it needs to be addressed. If there is a lack of confidence among or about managers, develop that culture where people are listened to and respect is fostered among staff towards each other. Resolve conflict. This is a big step on the road to improvement in moral and results, from managers and other employees alike.
- Coaching will form a big part of how you increase management capability in your company. Support competency development through training. Managers need to have a wide range of skills, from good communication to time, project and people management. Ongoing coaching of managers and continuous feedback will play a big part in developing managers’ skills.
Often the culture or structure of a company doesn’t lend itself to staff developing to their fullest. Start with listening. Continue with relevant training and always see management coaching as an ongoing process. Procedures and structures can be changed, but they go hand in hand with a culture which is open to change, communication and skills development. Get these things right and improved management capability won’t be far behind.
At OMT Global, we work with a range of people, from the small business to the multi-national, on how to improve management capabilities. Contact us to discuss your management training or strategic planning needs.