Support from management is not just a matter of words. It means allowing workers to develop and use their skills and abilities. Managers inadvertently signal a lack of support when they fail to do this. Managers often fail to provide support in specific ways.
Managers sometimes send mixed messages.
We are guilty of this when we say one thing and do another. The most blatant example is hiring an employee with the expectation he or she will do one particular job and then assigning him or her to do something entirely different.
This lack of support that comes from inconsistency is magnified when companies change management styles frequently or when they used autocratic approaches. An autocratic approach will undermine personal integrity and destroy team spirit. “Be aware of other’s styles. Adapt ones that are effective and learn to deal with those styles that aren’t so effective. Every employee, customer, supplier, and boss will vary in what works best with them. Don’t assume anyone is a specific type. Intelligently observe and then ask to confirm your assumptions.” (Benton, D., Warner Books, 1996, p. 101)
Managers sometimes arbitrarily pull people off their assignments to take care of special projects.
This practice can cause conflict within the employees and lead to stress throughout the organization. The effect is complicated if there is a lack of communication among the individuals involved. If managers fail to consider the qualifications and ongoing responsibilities of the employee, it is easy to push the worker to the point of stress and ineffectiveness in all areas. The supervisor of the employee tapped for a special project is also affected. Consider the message that is sent to a supervisor when a high-ranking manager frequently assigns an employee under the supervisor to a special project. If the supervisor is the last person to find out about the action, he or she feels
devalued and out of the communication loop.
Managers take authority from employees.
Management demonstrates a lack of support when they remove authority from the employee. Many supervisors are not aware of the effect this can have on workers. When we strip our employees of power, we limit the expertise available to make the project successful. We also undermine the self-esteem of the worker.
Dr. Keith Mathis, founder and CEO of The Mathis Group, specializes in Project Management, Management Leadership, and Marketing training for private businesses and government agencies of all kinds. He offers 33 Project Management courses, is a Project Management Professional, is certified by the Project Management Institute and will customize every training session to your individual company’s needs. The Mathis Group also sponsors www.pmexpertlive.com, which is a powerful project management resource with free reports, podcasts, videos, and a monthly newsletter. He also offers customized management training and coaching on any subject with prolific communication and professionalism.