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Monday, October 22, 2007

what are managers responsible for?

Later this week I will write about how I train new managers, but first let's answer this question: What are managers responsible for? It sounds simple, but all too often people can't give a comprehensive answer.

Yes, managers are responsible for "getting stuff done," but let's break it down. Managers are responsible for ensuring the following are true:
  • all employees are doing their jobs correctly, thoroughly, and on time

  • expectations and goals are clear

  • conflicting priorities are addressed and readjusted as needed

  • objectives and goals are being met or exceeded

  • key information is conveyed up the ladder, to the manager's manager or others who might need to know

  • employees are given a level of oversight appropriate to their position and abilities

  • good employees feel appreciated, heard, and as if someone is “looking out” for them

  • employees are given regular feedback about their performance, including what they do well and where they need to improve, with special attention toward low performers to ensure they improve or are transitioned out

  • staffers are representing the company and department appropriately to the public and various stakeholders

  • employees are following company policies

  • there is a plan in place to ensure continuity if disaster were to strike (for instance, if a key staffer were to disappear tomorrow, is there a way for you to access passwords, important documents, and the other information someone would need to step in?)
And, finally, and hugely important, managers are responsible for ensuring results in their realms. Concrete, measurable results.

What else would you add to this list?


HR Wench said...

Love this post! The sad thing is 1/2 the managers I know would hunt and peck through this list and only accept a few items as their responsibility. It doesn't matter what I tell them, how I train them or if I throw things at them. I think I should try guilt trips next. Hmm.

Here are some more items I think should be on a manager's plate:
1. Developing, maintaining and managing to goals/metrics.
2. Facilitates open and effective communication intra and cross departmentally.
3. Specific safety training (HR or Saftey pro's can handle general stuff but the manager knows the shortcuts the employees may be tempted to make).

Wally Bock said...

Great post. Here are some things I would add and adjust.

I would state the overarching goals as accomplishing the mission through the group and caring for the people.

I would make it "expectations and goals are clear and translated into behavior."

I would make it "employees are given a level of oversight appropriate to their position, abilities, and demonstrated willingness to perform."