5 Ways Managers Must Change If They Don’t Want to Become Outdated, According to Harvard

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Taylor Tobin1.84k
May 25, 2024 at 11:28AM UTC

A skilled manager is a true benefit to any company or organization. Supervisors with the ability to encourage strong work from their reports, to keep morale uplifted, and to pursue ever-more-challenging goals can command desirable salaries and advancement consideration...but, in this increasingly tech-dependent age, the definition of what qualifies a “good manager” is changing rapidly. To that point, the Harvard Business Review released an article outlining the five major changes that managers must enact to remain relevant in today’s working world, and the list includes the following necessary actions:

1. Managers must focus on educating their employees, not just setting them up for mindless productivity.

Because automation is on the rise in a plethora of companies, merely directing employees to perform rote tasks without instructing them on their significance increasingly seems like a waste of managerial time. Instead, invest your energy in educating your employees and encouraging them to question and to seek information, because, as HBR puts it, “learning, not knowledge, will power organizations into the future; and the central champion of learning should be the manager.”

2. Managers must stop “micromanaging” and instead hire employees they can trust.

Managers who hover over their employees and needlessly insert themselves into every minute task aren’t just annoying; they’re ultimately thwarting true productivity. To combat this issue, HBR suggests hiring skilled and trustworthy people and ensuring that they receive the training necessary to optimize their performances.

3. Managers must accept help when needed and learn how to delegate.

Managers who can’t (or won’t) allow others to help them find themselves at an immediate disadvantage: regardless of their level of skill, no single supervisor can complete as much work as teams and leaders who cooperate with each other. HBR says that “it has been our experience that when facing new situations, the best managers create leadership circles, or groups of peers from across the firm, to gain more perspective about problems and solutions.”

4. Managers must be open to new methods and procedures.

Innovation is an unquestionable necessity for companies that want to maintain significance in a rapidly-evolving landscape. Therefore, HBR recommends that managers stop maintaining the status quo and instead urge employees to find and utilize new processes and tactics that can help the business grow.

5. Managers must prioritize preventing problems over “putting out fires”.

Stressed managers often describe their job responsibilities as “putting out fires”, or rectifying errors made by themselves, their team members, and their companies at large. But HBR believes that, instead, “the [manager] role calls for finding better ways to operate the firm — by challenging people to discover new and better ways to grow, and by reimagining the best of what’s been done before.”

This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

What's your no. 1 piece of advice for managers hoping to change up their practices? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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