You’ve achieved your dream position of manager, whether it’s office manager, warehouse manager like who are managing 3pl warehouse management system, operations manager, team leader, or on the senior management team, and things are going well. Your leadership team is enthusiastic and diligent, strategizing and identifying the next direction for the company or business, and there’s a good volume of sales and strong profits.
Despite the apparent successful path you are heading along, now is the perfect time to pause and take a close look at your team and management style as a whole. Are you really working as efficiently as you could be? How does your style gel with your team? Are you helping or hindering the success of your team or department? How could you make things even better?
Often, even when things are ticking along nicely, it can be beneficial to take a close look at your own unique management style – which is informed by your work experience, your personality, and your elements of your own life – and see where things can be optimized in order to better help the business.
Identify Your Style
The key thing to do when assessing how well you and your team are working together, and before implementing any changes to the structure or functioning of your team, is to figure out your management style. There are many books and research papers (and even managerial games!) linked to identifying your management style, so it’s worth researching and deciding which one you think you are. Next, you can gain some peer feedback by asking your colleagues and team to identify the different skills you bring to your role.
Once you know your individual style, a handy way of figuring out whether the structure of your team is actually the most efficient and effective it can be is to also identify what their management style is/would be – this helps you to recognize where there may be gaps in skill, attitude, or knowledge that some simple restructuring will fix the issue.
Strategize to Optimize
Often, it’s considered that more staff and complicated work planning and scheduling systems will help to optimize the work output and, therefore, increase profits, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, there’s evidence to show that fewer employees who are more strategically utilized with careful planning can actually be more efficient.
For example, if you’re a manager of a warehouse, spending time conducting time studies and mapping both current and optimal staff layout, and monitoring staff changeover times will help you to identify and manage labor efficiency. This is an approach dubbed lean warehouse management by Supply Velocity; companies like this specialize in helping warehouses optimize their staff productivity in order to increase output and maximize growth.
Balance is Best
As a manager, you have both strengths and weaknesses – it’s important that you are aware, and use, both. We often believe that utilizing our strengths is best and can, in some cases, overuse our strengths, which is actually less helpful than we believe.
Be clear of where your weaknesses lie and then ensure that your team is balanced to counteract these weaknesses – what can they do that you can’t? For example, if you are excellent at coming up with lots of new initiatives and ideas, it might be prudent to employ a deputy manager who complements this and is not an ideas person, but instead, a ‘doer’ – this way, tasks are more likely to be complete.
Likewise with the rest of your team. Ensure there is a balance of skills and talent that complement one another and balance the other out, and you will have a functioning, efficient, and effective team.
Whilst you may feel that performance and output are good, there is always room for improvement. The key to successful management to inspire business growth is to constantly self-reflect and analyze how things are going – what changes and tweaks can you make to benefit your team?