Management can be a tricky thing. Many companies promote people to management / supervisory positions based on their knowledge of the job and ability to get things done.
But management goes so far beyond that, which is why many managers are not as effective as they should be. So what does it take to be an effective manager/supervisor?
A supervisors job is to manage both people and projects. Tuning people-management and project-management skills are necessary for any manager to truly be effective.
If one manages projects but not people
If a manager is successful at managing projects but not very good at managing people then tasks get done, but often unwillingly and usually full of errors. The team being managed is not motivated to work as effectively as they can simply because management is seen as inept. Very rarely is an employee satisfied with their job when they don’t feel that they, or their work, is valued. In turn, the employee turns in work as valuable as it is perceived to be.
While management may have all the pieces and processes in place, the motivation for excellence is extremely low, to non-existent. The work is getting done because management has the ability to manage the projects through the processes put in place, but the productivity level is way down.
If one manages people but not projects
If a manager is particularly good at managing people but doesn’t manage projects well, then they end up with a team eager to do their best work, but without the systems in place that keep projects on track. Essentially, you’ve got a team that is kept busy spinning their wheels. Yes, things get accomplished but far more slowly. Important tasks get pushed back because of “urgent” tasks and less important tasks simply never get done.
Essentially, the manager is able to keep the team happy, but only because they are doing what they want over what needs to be done. This ensures that larger, important victories are never realized and the team, as a whole, is kept from the greatness they are capable of.
If one manages projects through people
If one effectively manages both projects and people, then you have a team operating at peak performance producing the highest quality work. The role of a good manager-every manager really-is to manage their projects through their people. Managers must understand that people are their most valuable resource and responsible for creating valuable results. In fact, a manager that does not provide good project management skills, truly doesn’t value his team.
A great manager needs to care enough about his team to help them hone their skills by providing the direction necessary. This, in turn, helps them to produce their best possible work. The end result: the project gets completed quickly and accurately through a team motivated to do their best.