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April 3, 2020

How to Use Management Styles That Work for Your Employees

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Adapting management styles for different employees can be tricky, even for seasoned managers. Although natural leadership may emanate from your personality or experience, as managers know, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't always work.

Learning how to pinpoint the management styles that work for your employees is critical to elevate your training effectiveness. After all, according to Gallup research, managers play a "singular role in the life of an employee." For example, a manager's ability accounts for nearly three-quarters of the difference in engagement observed from team to team, the report said.

Not only do managers need to know how their employees prefer to be managed—they need to know how to implement those styles.

Creating a management style

Common management styles include authoritative, transactional, democratic, empathetic and servant leadership, outlined Wharton Business School. It's the manager's responsibility to identify which style is appropriate for each employee in their team and adapt to elevate their training effectiveness.

Seasoned managers have likely crafted a management style through experience or education. However, to be truly effective, they've got to get to know their employees.

One way to gain insight into your employees' preferences is by soliciting feedback through polls, or getting to know what makes them tick with personality tests like Myers-Briggs. With these tools, managers can learn how employees respond to specific situations, how they prefer to interact with others and how they engage with managers and other leaders. These are valuable and quantifiable insights that can be translated into management strategies.

Adapting your management style

Once you better understand your employees, you can build your management style to your team's preferences, as well as your organization's culture. According to Wharton Business School, managers should take a "situational approach" to management, adapting their style to different settings and interactions.

For example, perhaps you notice that a few employees are engaged in conflict and need a mediator to hear each of them. Or, perhaps you notice that specific employees lack engagement, needing a leader to create strong team bonds and connection to the larger organizational picture. When you keep your ear to the ground for such challenges, you can prepare yourself to supervise any situation.

In addition to individuals and groups of employees, different projects, cultures and industries demand varying management styles. By leaving the one-style-fits-all approach to leadership behind, managers can better focus their skills and talents by adapting situationally—further engaging employees and boosting productivity.

If you're ready to elevate your training effectiveness, sign up for an Absorb LMS demo today.