Managers are the people that lead a team, give instruction, and see that an organization’s goals are achieved, be it production, branding, or more. In general, they see that things work smoothly for the people one is in charge of. In Organizational parlance, there are four types of managers, the c-suite executives, the mid-level, the frontline managers, and the team leaders. This is the lose structural framework, but one can classify managers based on their leadership styles too. A Gartner study of 7,300 employees and 100 HR Managers threw up some characteristic managers: The always-on manager, the teacher manager, the connector manager, and the cheerleader manager. The teacher manager is one who passes on the experience of his journey to the subordinates. The always-on manger is the one who continually monitors performance and gives feedback and needs to keep an eye on every small development.
Connector manager is one who acts as the point of reference and helps people achieve their maximum potential by supporting, guiding, and pointing one towards the right path to get the correct guidance. The cheerleader manager is one who is always there for you but has a hands-off approach and lets you find your own way.
As is obvious, the survey found that it was the connector manager that people responded to most and performed best as opposed to under other managers. It was the always-on manger that did not get many votes. Too much hovering and guidance lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed, and people tend to give up faster under such leadership.
An explanation of the structural format of management and managers
The top managers are the C-suite managers and carry the titles of chiefs– the chief executive office, the chief financial officer, the chief marketing manager, the chief operational manager, and the chief technology manager. Their role is to convey top-down management. Below them is another layer of top executives, who can be directors or vice presidents etc. But this depends on the size of the organization, where the number of departments and divisions are many.
So what do these c-level executives do? They are the long-term planners and strategists of the company. They form the company’s policies based on the current economic situation, the laws and acts being passed concerning doing business, and they lobby and network in corridors of power. In short, they keep tabs on any and everything that may affect the company’s bottom line in the short and long term. They determine which way the company will go in terms of branding, production, investments, and customer profile.
This level includes the department heads, chief supervisors, and directors. They sometimes report directly to the top management or in a big organization they may have one or two levels above them, whom they report to. They are the ones who take the strategy messages from the top and turn them into executive actions. They make the blueprint for the carrying out of the tasks and assign them to relevant divisions. They liaison between the top and the lower down managerial levels. The mid-level managers are the actual bridge that translate strategy into action. They provide leadership in leading the lower rungs of management into implementing the directives from above. An important task they perform is spotting talent and nurturing it for future roles.
First-line managers are what the title suggests. They are the first line of firefighters that lead the workers. They carry out the organizational strategies and plans at the “ground level”. The front line managers have a great many terminologies: the assistant manager, the foreman, the office manager, shift in charge, etc. They are directly responsible for making sure that organizational objectives and plans are implemented effectively. They keep quality control over the materials supplied. They ensure a smooth supply chain, take care of labor problems and operational hiccups like inadequate production, machine breakdowns, ineffectual procedures, and more. These first-line executives are the ones that see all these problems are conveyed to the managers above and pursue them further.
This terminology is new and an offshoot of the tech revolution that took off in the 90s. Team leads are appointed to oversee a special project in a definite timeline and are generally in charge of a small team formed for a specific purpose. They ensure that the task is carried out most efficiently. They typically report to the middle managers. A team leader’s team can be disbanded after the task finishes or reassigned under a different lead.