Are Your Managers Too Busy to Manage?

A good manager is defined by what he or she does, not what they are. Simply promoting someone and giving them the job title of “manager” does not automatically mean that they will be a good one.

It is relatively easy to define what a good manager does. A good manager makes the people who report to them feel appreciated, valued and respected. They work hard to build positive relationships with their teams and they foster a culture of trust and engagement which motivates people to do well.

It is just as easy to define what a poor manager does. They make employees feel under-valued, demotivated and demoralised. They create an environment where trust and engagement are lacking and staff performance is, as a result, low.

Now I am sure that no one sets out to be a poor manager. So why do so many managers fail? One of the reasons is that these managers are often too busy with their other responsibilities to effectively manage their people.

Left to their own devices most employees will try to do what’s right but things will inevitably go wrong from time to time. And because the “busy” manager doesn’t really have a handle on what’s going on their direct reports do not feel valued for the pressures they are under. Such managers are also slow to recognise their team members for excellent work.

All of us have 24 hours a day, so it is not actually time that is the issue, rather poor prioritisation, delegation and empowerment – all of which can be learned. Poor managers will often talk about concepts like ‘empowerment’ but few of them back this up by giving their employees real decision authority in their jobs.