Traditional business philosophy would have you believe that managers must also be leaders, but leaders should never become managers. Leadership is, after all, a more evolved version of management… or is it? Not necessarily, and thinking so could prevent you from managing effectively.
If management is the strategic control of subordinates rather than followers, then leadership is about employee engagement. It is theoretically possible to lead an organization from the bottom up, an approach that is evolving in today’s modern work place. A Queensland business researcher and writer for Harvard Business Revew supports flatter leadership in his article, titled, Heirarchy is Overrated.
In today’s business, the people are the organization. Retaining and recruiting top talent is a must. Many companies are leaning toward a flatter business structure to facilitate the need for inclusivity, employee engagement, especially where remote employees are common, such as in IT firms. A strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) program is also a major anchor for the company brand. Top brass often rely on subordinate teams to connect directly with the community, innovating new ways to strengthen the coroporate-community bond while reinforcing personal relationships inside and outside office walls.
A flatter work environment also engenders trust and creates a happier workplace. Word gets around. When employees are happy at work, more people want to work there. Engaged employees drive today’s successful business because they want to stay and can be out in force on social media driving new talent your way.
Team Building Strategies in Management v. Leadership
Flexible management strategies foster a happier life at work. Here are a few to keep in mind for your teams:
- Remote Work: Allow staff to work remotely, even if temporary. It can increase productivity by 13 percent. Always involve remote staff in team matters; never allow them to isolate.
- Pacing Strategies: Create pacing strategies to divide heavy workloads. It can improve productivity, reduce stress and avoid wasted time.
- Mindfulness Training: Offer mindfulness training so staff can be happier at work. Yoga has proven to increase focus and improve rational thinking.
- Onboarding: Provide a strong onboarding program and you may improve staff retention by 50%. According to Urban Bound, 70 percent of employees say friends at work are crucial to a happy work life, and 50 percent feel a strong connection to their company if they have a bestie at work.
Leadership strategies may enhance the workplace and improve productivity by:
Coaching and mentoring. Be positive, avoid authoritarian tactics you may have experienced in the past.
Offering meaningful feedback, in person if possible.
Respecting staff as individuals. Know a little “personal” something about each employee. (Brian remodels antique cars, Mary runs marathons).
Nurturing team relationships. Encourage this by emphasizing the importance of teams within the organization and with the community.
Leadership creates vision, whereas management creates situations that contribute to business objectives. Every manager should lead, but some leaders don’t manage enough. Doing either in isolation is not a winning prospect.
Specializing in building team relationships, Venture Up has assisted companies of all types and sizes in building strong relationships for a happy workplace since 1983.