Teach, motivate, organize, discipline, and save money are a few jobs managers are hired to do. Managers use many methods to perform these duties. However, not all of their management styles are effective.
A manager can be compared to a kind of octopus whose tentacles probe everywhere looking for oversights and other issues that need to be addressed. There are many ways of doing the job of an octopus. One is called micro-management. Using this style, a manager attempts to personally guide every nuance of business activity. This is not possible and this type of manager quickly becomes a thorn in worker’s sides. Micro-managing is generally seen as nit-picking. High employee turnover is a direct result of micro-managing. This costs the company money and often this type of manager gets swallowed up in the minutia of day-to-day details while losing sight of the big picture.
At the opposite end of the manager spectrum is the laid-back management style. This type of manager puts the most effort into being buddies with everyone and does not pay much attention to details of the job. The problem is that the people working under a manager, might like him/her but they’re not actually friends. The work atmosphere can be fun, but in the end, someone needs to be in charge. The laid-back manager is quite often viewed as not accomplishing very much and the business owners are very likely to send this type of manager down the road.
Taking a mid-line between these two management styles is ideal. I like to call this style management by wandering around. This type of manager sets up larger big picture reference points than a micro-manager. For instance, a micro-manager would likely re-check an inventory that has already been checked in. Whereas this third type of manager would know that the inventory was checked in correctly just by looking at the lading bill to see if it was checked properly and then glancing at the space where the new inventory was stored before asking the person who checked things in if everything came in as ordered. This management style relies on trust and gives people room and responsibility to do their jobs correctly.
Management by wandering around usually means working shifts along side co-workers. This is very critical to knowing what is happening at the job. This manager is right there to help with problems or answer questions. Hanging out in an office full-time is not an indicator that someone is a good manager. I personally poke around durding a shift looking into garbage cans, for instance. You’d be amazed at what garbage cans can reveal.
Management by wandering around fosters loyalty and pride in the work place. This type of manager is ideal in my opinion.