“When you tell people how to do their jobs, we get workers. When we trust people to get their job done, we get leaders.”
At Ascentt, we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality work by having a keen eye for detail. This eye for detail, however, is achieved with great team enablement. Not micromanagement. We believe that while managers have to guide and lead teams to success, micromanagement dents the team’s morale and limits the teams’ growth by establishing a tone of mistrust.
Facilitation – an important factor that drives the quality movement
The focus on quality has now become essential for survival. With the customer spoilt for choice and a market that becomes increasingly competitive, delivering quality becomes a prerogative. The writing is on the wall – there is no place for poor-quality products in the market.
The quality movement demands continuous improvement and a capacity to respond to market demands and changes with agility. It demands a breakthrough in how we think and solve problems and identify avenues to improve our decision-making capabilities.
The micromanager has no place in such an environment as instead of helping improve quality and velocity, they end up slowing things down. The enterprise of today needs managers who can deliver enablement when work happens…who become the catalyst of change and the facilitators of growth and progress.
So, if our managers don’t manage, what do they do?
Enablement over authority
Managers in our organization are not focused on emphasizing their authority. They are aware of the power and privileges of their position and understand that their role is to alleviate any hurdle or challenge that their team faces.
Their role is to proactively monitor the dynamics of the team, identify the potential problems that exist or could emerge, and assess if any discrepancy in the tools and process ecosystem is acting as a performance impediment. They seek feedback from their team members to identify issues and allow people to develop their working styles to make sure that they are best aligned with the performance outcomes.
Elevating performance outcomes
Just like organizations are not schools, employees are not school children. In the same way, managers are not teachers who put there to ‘mind’ truant children and have them work. Our managers, as such are attuned to function as those people who will ensure elevated performance outcomes without actively telling team members what to do and how to operate.
Our managers manage employee KPI’s closely and are laser-focused on the data. They also remain in constant conversation with their team members, proactively troubleshooting and removing any roadblock to success. Their team members are constantly apprised of their development needs and areas of improvement using data-backed insights proactively.
Proactive performance management makes sure that end-of-year appraisals are not fact-finding expeditions or those events where one gets to know how things or outcomes could be improved.
Develop the pipeline
Employees of today are leaders of tomorrow. And who build these leaders? Their managers.
We believe that our managers play a key role in identifying and mentoring high performers and assist in the development of the leadership pipeline. While technical skills development is a key area that they focus on, identifying and developing power skills such as empathy, understanding, collaboration, communication, trust, team spirit, etc. also becomes a key area of work for our managers.
They also work proactively to help the median level performance identify gaps in performance and then take calibrated measures to close those gaps with skill enhancements. The managers are also sounding boards for their teams…their guides who want to see them achieve success both professionally and personally.
Taking a well-rounded approach to professional development and skill enhancement activates makes sure that the organization has a healthy pipeline of high-performing employees who can capably lead the organization in the future.
Solve problems, build understanding
This is what our managers actively do. Their role is to facilitate easy exchanges between team members, teams, and departments. In the event of a disagreement or any misalignment of thought, the managers step in to share the information in a digestible format for everyone. They bring people together to build consensus and agreement over disputed topics and ensure that there is a buy-in over the proposed resolution by virtue of debate and discussion.
Sometimes, reaching a consensus takes a little more time. But when this happens, the buy-in is much stronger, and an effective decision is reached. They effectively listen and evaluate all viewpoints for better conflict resolution and make sure that they use both verbal and non-verbal clues to help all the participants feel validated and heard.
When the mind of a team is filled with micro-level details and constant interruption for updates, there is hardly any room left for the big picture thoughts. Our organizational culture is fostered on the rocked of trust. Our employees are some of the sharpest minds in the industry. As such, we want to ensure that we create an environment of enablement that helps our teams reach successful outcomes.
The role of managers in our organizations thus becomes that of the enabler and facilitator of success.