There’s a golden saying in HR: “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers”. If a company’s management style is a bad fit, then no amount of retention strategies will help. This raises a question: Which management style works best for employees, and how can you implement them at your company?
What Management Styles Are There?
Management style describes the way a manager fulfills their goals. They will broadly fall under three categories: Autocratic, Democratic, and Laissez-faire management styles. These all come with their pros and cons, and are suited to particular kinds of employees.
Autocratic Management Styles:
Autocratic management styles encompass many of the more controversial approaches. These managers adopt a top-down approach where employees operate within strictly defined parameters. They are typically used in large organizations with low or unskilled employees, or during an emergency.
While autocratic management can enable rapid decision-making, they are also often the source of a great deal of conflict within a team, and cultivate a low morale – high turnover environment.
Studies have shown that autocratic management styles, even relatively benign variants like Paternal management styles, have a negative impact on employee satisfaction and retention. Further research into which personality styles like autocratic management styles also support this thesis, with just 21% of employees seeing real value in an autocratic approach.
That being said, autocratic management styles can be useful during an emergency, but they should be abandoned once things have returned to normal.
Laissez-faire Management Styles:
Laissez-faire is the polar opposite of authoritarian management. A manager who follows this style sets goals, walks away, and then expects their team to get on with it. A Laissez-faire manager will only be present when requested, and will not interfere in their team’s day-to-day operations.
This style is useful for highly skilled and motivated teams, with strong cohesion. The strong sense of freedom can help to cultivate creativity, and is greatly appreciated by certain kinds of employees. Additionally, studies have demonstrated a negative correlation between a Laissez-faire management styles and turnover.
Variants of this approach have been put to use by some highly successful companies, for example Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. However, it is difficult to successfully implement, and in the hands of the wrong manager or team can lead to a lack of direction, and poor results.
Democratic Management Styles
These styles represent a middle ground between Laissez-faire and Autocratic management styles. Managers seek input from employees, and attempt to gather a broader consensus on what the best path forward is. However, they will be significantly more involved than Laissez-faire managers.
In a democratic approach, communication goes both ways, and there is usually a robust exchange of ideas, which leads to better results. This approach is also popular with employees, and studies have shown a significant negative correlation with democratic management styles and turnover.
Cloudvisor’s Team Has Adopted a Coaching Management Style
When we started Cloudvisor our team quickly identified that a diverse network of talented people were the core driver of our success. To nurture this dynamic, we have built a welcoming work culture that fosters growth, and helps each individual make the most of their own unique strengths, even in a remote environment.
A coaching management style also necessitates not just regular communication, but forging deep connections within a team. We encourage team’s to work closely together, share lunch breaks, and even go on company retreats. This ensures that everybody feels like they are truly part of the team, even if they work remotely, and helps forge lasting bonds.
A connection-led approach gives people the space that they need to be creative, while ensuring that nobody feels like they are being side-lined, even in rooms with big personalities. Close communication also enables us to identify the challenges our employees might be facing and provide support before they become overwhelming. We take this proactive approach not because we have to, but because we want to provide each of our employees with the best workplace possible.
It’s About People and Personalities
Everybody has their own style, and Cloudvisor believes that it is important to build an approach that nurtures everyone as people first, and professionals second. If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to work at Cloudvisor, check out our website here, or check out the open positions on our careers page. If you don’t find the right fit there, just send us your resume! We’re always looking for exceptional people.