Someone said that only 4% of an organisation’s problems are known by top management, 9% are known by middle management, 74% are known by supervisors and 100% are known by employees. I am not sure if those figures are anywhere nearly correct but I strongly believe that they are much closer to the truth than most business people seem to believe or act on.
In my experience it is rare to find managers who really value and acknowledge the insights and wisdom of employees.
It is even rarer to find managers who create an atmosphere and structures that allow, support and encourage employees to blossom, to be creative, to be their best. In my opinion, good sports managers often achieve this much better than business managers. In sport, managers and coaches know that it is the athlete, the sports person, who performs in an event and that their job is simply to help the athlete prepare so that they get the best out of themselves on the day.
Val Butcher, the MD of Bluemay Weston, says”Look after your people, the bottom line will look after itself”. As soon as any business manager begins to understand the real value and the potential of their staff, then the manager begins to facilitate and support them and to create structures for them to express and develop their skills, their intuition and their potential. The workplace is simply transformed.
It may seem a huge task and in some ways it is. Many people, both managers and staff, are used to and are somewhat comfortable in pyramid systems where all decisions come from the top and others just follow. It may produce satisfactory results, based on normal standards. Often it does not, and people move on and leave; or they stay put but don’t excel or give anything near their best.
Managers can change this. As long as they realise and are prepared to take on board the simple fact that, as Lauren Appley says, “Management means helping people to get the best out of themselves, not organising things”.