Here is a little thought for owners to ponder. Is there a danger that you have built a culture that regards the time spent on mentoring, listening to staff, training them as unproductive time?

I often hear owners say, “well it’s not a full time job, Frank would still need to process the payroll as well as manage the accounts team.” Or Samantha can still carry a sales target, maybe a smaller quota, as she steps up to manage the sales team. Design engineers working on their CAD system can still manage a team of engineers, right?

Management of staff takes time. It is a full time job. It’s a key part of scaling a private company. Sure it is an expensive cost but there is a reason why pre tax margins can’t stay at 30% forever. You can do it for a time, when you’re small but eventually you need to create the role of management. Creating the role is just the start. You can’t burden them with their responsibilities of their old job. You have to give them time to manage!

Management Takes Time – Key Tasks
  1. Setting agendas and prioritizing work.
  2. Ensuring work is aligned with company objectives.
  3. Understanding why employees are working long hours.
  4. Assessing capacity constraints and flagging issues ahead of the curve.
  5. Ensuring that team members are mastering their roles.
  6. Listening to issues and addressing them before they become problems.
  7. Teaching the team best practices.
  8. Teaching the team self-management tools.
  9. Demonstrating by example what professionalism, follow through, attention to detail, and respect looks like.
  10. Understanding the different personalities within a team to maximize their potential.
  11. Disciplining staff when necessary in a consistent and fair way.
  12. Creating an atmosphere of openness but with clarity of purpose.
  13. Teaching the difference between effectiveness and activity.
  14. Monitoring progress and directing necessary changes in behavior.
  15. Rewarding success.

Management takes time but it’s a role you need to create if you are going to grow the business with alignment, predictability, control, and safety. Management is an essential investment to allow a business to scale.