Is Your Boss Babysitting You Or Leading You?
The Management Mistake
I recalled a lengthy discussion with my direct supervisor, who manages a team of about 25+ employees on any given day and shares that responsibility with at least two other supervisors. During this friendly conversation, I was curious as to why he refused to delegate some of the less important daily priorities to his Leads, who are considered low-levels management team members. He clearly stated that he felt that he could not trust his Team Leads or his alternates for that matter, to complete the daily tasks set for our team and that he needed to "babysit" his staff, who has proven themselves productive daily. I was shocked and insulted at his statement. Is this a major mistake of how bosses view their employees? And if so, managers and supervisors everywhere should reconsider this ideal. And here is why.
The Management Misconception
- When a boss has the mentality that he is babysitting his employees, that boss has no respect for the leadership role they are in, no respect for the management team that equally share the duties, responsibility and liability that lies on the teams shoulders. A supervisors duty is much more than watching their employees and looking for those who are not pulling their weight or being adequately productive. Their primary duty is to make sure the team is productive and time management.
- A boss should always understand that their employees strengths and weaknesses. Having the right people in the right places at the right time. Personnel coordination is key in having the reassurance that the daily goals are completed in a timely manner. Once the shift begins, knowing who you have and where they are is important.
- A bosses job is not to fire people or to rule with an iron fist. To be hated, despised or resented by their co-workers. This is your team. Bosses should be fully invested in the success of the team, meeting the goals, the success of the department, as well as their own individual success.
- A bosses job is to make sure that their employees have the tools that they need to do their job. Watching and looking for the slackers, talkers, hiders, procrastinators, and the like, and looking for reasons to impose disciplinary action is productive. The management of the productivity and the management of the staff is a shared responsibility between the employees and the management team.
- A boss should invest time and energy in the career growth of all the individual staff members. And especially those who show potential for growth and promotion within the company. When supervising and/or managing a team, a boss should not give the "if you don't like it, maybe you should just quit..." line to their employees. Your boss should care about their staff, have an open door policy and be discreet with employees personal issues, etc.
- A boss should be an advocate for his staff. A major responsibility of a boss is being liable for the successes and failures of the teams performance as well as their own individual performance. Showing their staff that they will fight for them is how supervisors/managers gain respect and build positive morale withing the team. And it is easier for staff members to stay focused, motivated and productive for a boss who is equally invested in their personal and professional goals and concerns.
- A boss who views their job as "babysitting" their adult staff has been trained to view their team as being less-than or irresponsible adults. That type of boss will lower morale, lose key staff members, make the workplace miserable and make it difficult for staff to take pride in what they do. That type of boss is a negative distraction.
- A boss is a leader. A major definition of a leader is being a positive example for their employees. Surrounding themselves with trustworthy, capable team members is key. The people that work under a boss directly represent their boss. Their workplace integrity, motivation, morale, productivity and company growth are all influenced by their boss.
- A boss should have a high expectation of their staff. Whether a boss hires or inherits their staff, the boss should have certain expectations that their quotas are met, the job is completed, and be very best comes out of the people they lead. Bosses are leaders. Leaders earn respect, by inspiring, by motivating and by giving respect. Bosses are not babysitting. They should be leading by example.
So the question is do the supervisors, managers and overall bosses want to boss you around? Or do bosses want to lead.....