Saturday, February 21, 2015

Does Your Manager Help or Hinder You?

Over the past month, I’ve been contacted by two individuals complaining about their direct supervisor hindering their work. In one case, to the point of seemingly sabotaging them. Let me include, these are high level positions with C-Level managers. During this time period, I have received two articles on workplace antics, that validate this situation is more prevalent than most realize.

Company cultures are rapidly changing, as the economy improves and hiring is on an upswing. Qualified leaders will be required for success.

Here’s a litmus test to answer the headline question:

Traits of a supportive manager.
  • Freedom to perform your duties
  • Open to new suggestions for improvement
  • Communicates on timely matters
  • Gives you the tools you need to succeed
  • Gives clear direction

Traits of a non-supportive manager (besides the obvious reversal of the above bullets).
  • Critical of your performance without some form of validation
  • Interferes or overrides your decisions (applicable to your responsibilities)
  • Clearly undermines your tasks
  • Evasive or aloof

Consulting on this matter is precarious for me. I end up asking more questions regarding the company culture, than directly applying any advice. Here are my thoughts:
  • Job descriptions are becoming more defined with technology maturation. Be sure to understand your deliverables. This applies to an interviewee or a current associate.
  • Know your net worth to the company. What would happen if you were not there? Be careful in this review, as everyone can be replaced. Be honest in your assessment.
  • What is your impact of error on the company?
  • Can you detect a company culture shift? Good or bad? Does it give you hope or is it time to move on?
  • Is your performance accurately represented in your reviews?
    • If you do not have written reviews, start/demand them immediately.
  • Can you compare your performance to others in the company? Again, be careful, stick to performance not personalities.

In conclusion, mentors, inside or outside the company, will help you air your thoughts. Stay informed of your industry trends. Read blogs and articles on this subject to stay current, as times change faster than ever.