Management Style and the Bottom Line

Quite often, human behavior is imitative. We learn how to act by mimicking others’ actions. In the workplace, most bosses manage as they’ve been managed.Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery; however, some of our role models aren’t necessarily ideal role models. Learned behavior, which is often subconscious and automatic, can seriously undermine efforts to succeed in business.According to research, management style can either benefit or decimate the bottom line. One particular study I recently read found that a negative management style is linked to high turnover. For small businesses, high employee turnover is quite costly and a genuine problem that affects profitability.

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Study authors discovered that managers who provide a supportive and considerate work environment experience significantly lower turnover rates than their counterparts, who operate from a traditional management paradigm, treating workers as disposable resources.An ineffective management style is a common source of small business inefficiency, which inhibits success.Is your management style positive or negative, or somewhere in between? Do you inspire and motivate workers to do their very best, or are you inadvertently de-motivating and disempowering employees?MANAGEMENT STYLE RATERLow 1 2 3 4 5 High1. Do you communicate openly with your employees, ensuring everyone is “in the loop?”2. Would your employees describe you as accessible and approachable?3. Would your employees say you have a good understanding of the problems they face in their jobs?4. Would your employees describe you as flexible?5. Would you help out an employee if he or she had a serious personal problem?6. Do you routinely cross-train workers?7. Do you foster a culture of cooperation within your workplace?8. Do you personally praise workers when they’ve done a good job?9. Do you provide workers with meaningful training?10. Do you ensure workers have adequate resources to perform their jobs?

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Scoring Guide1-15:You operate from a traditional management paradigm. To you, workers are a disposable resource or mere cogs. Expect high turnover and reduced profits if you fail to change your perspective.16-39:You exhibit a mixed management style. You are traditional in many ways, yet in some circumstances you use an enlightened approach in dealing with workers. Shifting your traditional behaviors will reduce turnover and improve your bottom line.40-50:You are an enlightened small business manager. You are adept at handling process and leveraging people. Your approach will lead to efficient management of your small business operation.