Many people know that a good manager can make a huge difference in the productivity of a staff. A bad manager can also lower productivity, but only to an extent. Fear of losing a job, or avoiding punishment can motivate plenty of staff to get work done, even when you have a poor, or even absent, manager.
Some companies don’t value strong management skills much, some do. I think most of us would prefer to work for a company that does, but we don’t always get the choice. That’s one reason why I do promote the idea of branding yourself and ensuring you have other options for employment. The more options you have, and the more demand there is for your staff’s services, the more likely that your company will make an effort to work with, rather than lord over, their employees.
For those of you that are managers, or those that might want to help their manager build some skills, I ran across an interesting story from David Haney on his experiences as a manager at StackOverflow. It’s a good set of principles that I tried to keep in mind as I managed people in the past. For those managers that might not know why their staff leaves, there’s a good warning that good IT staff are in short supply, and companies should make an effort to retain them in various ways.
For many of us in the IT sector, we can provide a strategic advantage for our businesses as we enhance and extend software. Many of us are important insurance that keep systems running, hopefully at a peak level. Bad management can impact the effectiveness of our technology organizations, and it’s silly to accept bad managers. This is something that can be fixed with some training and accountability for the manager, with a little effort. Make a few suggestions, or try to show how a better manager (or style) might help you get more done.