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How To Be A Monitoring Boss Without Being Overbearing

January 7, 2019

Monitoring Teams, Workplace Culture

In our “What Type of Manager Are You?” series, we’re looking at the struggles that different kinds of managers face, whether you’re a nurturer, a cheerleader, or a monitor, and how you can best overcome those problems in line with your management style.

If someone says that their management type is a monitor, an entire workforce gives a collective shudder. It harks back to a feeling of George Orwell and Big Brother constantly creeping over your shoulder to check that you’re doing everything that you’re supposed to be doing on a minute by minute basis. It’s not great.

But a monitoring managerial style doesn’t necessarily mean that. It’s more of a term for a logical style of management that is more light touch with their approach. In layman's terms, they say what they want you to do and expect you to get one with it - perfectly reasonable right? The phrase of a ‘monitor’ refers to someone who just keeps an eye on something, rather than the other styles (cheerleader, nurturer) who tend to be more hands on within the office.

So, how do you work as a monitoring manager without coming across as a policeman or coming across as a recluse who hides in your office only emerging to dole out more tasks? Here at Wundamail, we’ve got you covered.

Plan ahead

A standard must for any manager but especially when you’re a monitor style of manager, this is essential to ensuring that your whole team know what to expect. By having monthly or quarterly full day team briefings, your team will feel involved and be better equipped to tackle the tasks ahead without needing as much monitoring from you. It also means that you don’t need to be on the shop floor as much and can get on with any managerial projects.

Trust your workforce

This is a big one with monitoring managers. The inherent control that comes with being this type of manager means that delegating or letting your team get on with tasks without overly regular updates is a struggle. Nevertheless, you need to let them get on with the tasks at some point, if anything, the constant update requests are probably making your team less efficient and less engaged. You hired and trained these people, you know that they’re capable - let them prove it.

Ask why more

If a project hasn’t been delivered on time, take the time to ask why before going in on your team. Was it a realistic timeline? Were there enough people working on it? Was it actually feasible? These are all valid questions to be asked, not just if something hasn’t come in on time, but along the way.

For example, if one of your team is looking stressed and looks like they’re struggling with their workload, rather than simply adding another member of the team to the project, ask them if they’re okay and why they’re struggling. This will help to give an insight into the working styles of your team and ultimately help you delegate tasks more efficiently, as well as making your team feel valued and cared about on a human level.

Find new metrics

Another key trademark of a monitoring style of management is a preference for hard data as a sign of success. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the stats on my pieces of work and what’s working and what isn’t, but not every person feels like their success is measured in this way.

Try mixing it up occasionally with new metrics for success such as an employee’s growth and improvement over the last couple of weeks or maybe that they’ve learned some new skills and used them effectively. By giving these simple shoutouts that aren’t specifically data-based, it boosts morale and can offer some new perspectives on what works as a driver for your team. Now that’s an experiment worth doing.

Being a monitor doesn’t mean that you have to be constantly asking for updates and chasing statistics, it just means that you’re an organised manager who wants to know what your results are in an efficient way, here at Wundamail we get that.

Wundamail delivers your company’s daily headlines, straight to your inbox. Each day, you get a report of your team’s activity, and so does everyone else. Just like that, a simple compilation email transforms team thinking - no apps, usernames or passwords needed. You get the updates you want each day and your team doesn’t feel chased, it’s simple, it’s efficient, it’s Wundamail. Start your 14 day free trial today.

Famous Monitors are:

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

Vogue’s Anna Wintour



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