As a manager, how do you prevent under managing, and still empower your people? I’ve been posting about what’s called the “Under Management Epidemic,here and here.  A recent survey reports 9 out of 10 managers are providing insufficient oversight.

Ten years ago, research from Rainmaker Thinking, Inc., confirmed an epidemic of workplace under-management. The firm’s ongoing study reveals that under-managing remains rampant. A full 90% of all leaders and managers do not provide direct reports with sufficient guidance, support and coaching.

The key factor affecting employee engagement was and remains the relationship employees have with their immediate supervisors. That’s why we had been asking a different question of business leaders: “Are your MANAGERS ‘engaged’ or not?” ~ The Under-Management Epidemic Report 2014: …Ten Years Later

By definition, engaged managers:

  • Get the most out of their people
  • Foster good relationships
  • Meet their goals with fewer problems

Unfortunately, managers spend much of their time handling personnel conflicts and “putting out fires.” They have to play catch-up after crises are averted, leaving less time for quality management conversations and effective leadership practices.

Many of today’s leaders operate on autopilot, communicating with direct reports in low-substance conversations, mediocre meetings and way too many emails. Consequently, far too many problems go unnoticed and grow more serious—until yet another fire breaks out.

You can cure any under-management problems by holding regular, highly structured, high-substance conversations with each direct report. Commit to covering the five fundamentals of good management:

  1. Clear statements of broad performance requirements and specific expectations
  2. Support and guidance regarding resources necessary to meet requirements and expectations
  3. Accurate monitoring, measurement and documentation of individuals’ actual performance
  4. Regular candid feedback about actual performance
  5. Rewards and penalties distributed in proportion to actual performance

How often are you having high-structure, high-substance managerial conversations with each of your staff? How often do you discuss these basic fundamentals? I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me here or on LinkedIn.