3 Management Styles that Kill the Employee Experience

Good Employe Experience

3 Management Styles that Kill the Employee Experience
The war for talent is fierce. Employers cannot underestimate the effect a negative Employee Experience (EX) has on attracting, retaining, and engaging their workforce. Employers are now realizing that they need to create a place where employees not only need to work but want to work.
Managers are key contributors to EX. More than ever, managers are balancing the need to get results from employees and achieve company goals, while creating an engaging work experience for employees.

Read the Book: The Employee Experience

But when team performance falls below expectations, the best intentions to motivate can sometimes jeopardize success. This creates a negative effect on organizational health and the employee experience. Here are three examples of common management styles that can backfire when trying to motivate employees. Good Employe Experience

The Overly-Optimistic Manager

Optimism is a strong factor that generally increases motivation and creates a positive EX. But sometimes hard tasks are just that—hard. The difficulty employees face in tackling challenging tasks needs to be acknowledged, and not simply minimized or pacified with a weak pep talk. When a team struggles, managers need to lead by introducing helpful ideas and strategies. But then, as leadership educator and author Liz Wiseman advised, “Remember to hand the pen back.” It’s beneficial for a manager to help employees get back on track, but then remember to place the responsibility back on the team to find the solution.

The Pacesetter Manager

Some managers try to set the pace for their teams by being an example in areas of quality, innovation, customer service, or even amount of work delivered—and there may be nothing wrong with that. By modeling the high standard, they hope the team will follow their example and meet the pace. But Wiseman observes that sometimes the result is the exact opposite of the desired effect: “It creates spectators instead of followers.” Instead, “take time to recognize the unique gifts and talents of individuals who participate on your team,” recommends executive coach, Sara Canaday. Understand that team members can make the best contributions at their own pace.

The Endless-Idea Manager

In an effort to achieve more, these managers generate a mountain of new ideas that “need to be implemented immediately.” These managers think this approach inspires their team with new and exciting work opportunities. Instead, employees are often overwhelmed by the barrage of ideas and varying agendas. Wiseman warns that too many ideas can torpedo an organization. Collective creativity shuts down, and efforts to chase after the volume of ideas and strategies places workers right back where they started. No progress. No development. No skill-building.
A manager’s role is constantly paired with expectations. The secret to meeting goals lies in a manager’s ability to utilize the talents residing in the staff. Nurture those skills by avoiding blind optimism, creating a healthy pace, and encouraging creativity from staff.
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6 Ways Managers Can Improve Team Creativity and Decision Making

Creativity thrives in this office

Watch this video on 6 ways managers can improve team creativity and decision making.

In effective group decision making, there needs to be a balancing between what the group leader does and what group members do. This is an important focus in group decision-making strategies that promote positive company culture and outcomes. The key is balancing the leader’s creativity with the group’s creativity to reach the optimal zone.
If you are looking to expand the zone of decision-making creativity in your workplace, here are six suggestions to consider.

Young team at modern conference table.

1. Be mindful. What is the desired outcome?

Transparency and collaboration mean more than giving employees a say or a vote on what the group is going to do. They mean group members have a voice that is listened to and they actively participate in company decision making. Effective leaders are mindful of employees’ voices and actively seek their input.

2. Don’t act bureaucratically. Avoid “My way or the highway.”

A bureaucratic top-down leader makes a decision and requires the group to implement it, without input or feedback. This may increase group efficiency in the short term, but it diminishes team buy-in and creativity in the long term.

3. Don’t drag decision making out too long. Avoid “analysis paralysis.”

When decision making is drawn out too long and too many options are evaluated in too much detail, group creativity may be high initially but quickly decreases as the process takes too much time.

4. Trust yourself. Trust your team.

Good decision making requires leaders to trust in his or her own decision-making ability, and also to trust in the group’s ability to generate ideas and solutions that are beneficial.

5. Add resources. Remove obstacles.

An effective leader must be aware of needed resources and unnecessary obstacles in the decision making process, then use the hiring process and skills training to add those needed resources.

6. Read the Group. Develop each member.

Sometimes the leader’s mere recognition and encouragement of an individual member’s skills, attitude, or efforts may be that one thing which “grows” that person into a strong collaborative member of the team.
Conclusion: Achieving the zone of proximal creativity in group decision making.

Balancing the leader’s creativity with the group’s creativity is a necessary in decision making. This balancing act creates more than just satisfied employees. It optimizes the process. This is how, where, and when good group decisions are made.