Great management is key to business success. A manager’s ability to effectively lead a team impacts vital employee engagement statistics like retention, productivity, and morale. Yet, according to Gallup, only 10% of managers actually have the skills they need to be excellent leaders of their teams. To learn more about how your business can strive to be part of this 10%, we’ve put together the 9 top features of management to think about every day!
9 key features of management
- Management is a goal-oriented process
- Management is multidimensional
- Management is an ongoing process
- Management is a science and art
- Management is a group activity
- Management is an intangible force
- Management is all pervasive
- Management is a purposeful activity
- Management is a career
1Management is a goal-oriented process
Without goals, it’s difficult for your team to prioritize tasks and determine success. A lack of goals also leaves employees without any motivation to do their work. Objectives and key results (OKRs) are a common type of goal that managers can adopt. These objectives start at the highest level, with the chief executive officer (CEO) or another C-level position determining the overarching OKRs for the company. From there, each department’s manager can align team-specific OKRs that are more tangible for each division to start executing as part of the effort to meet the company-wide goals.
Track objectives as part of your meeting workflow
Stay on top of your team’s goals by clearly recording, defining, and tracking the progress of your OKRs in Fellow’s Objectives tool. The best part? You can quickly review those objectives during your team meetings!
2Management is multidimensional
A lot of people first experience management through projects. Even employees in entry-level roles can be assigned a project or two to manage, and those in senior-level roles can oversee large-scale, complex, or long-term work projects. Part of being a project manager, regardless of what department you work within, will include some level of budget management, communication with stakeholders, and the coordination of the schedule of deliverables. Because there are a lot of transferable skills in work management, it’s a great place to build experience for anyone new in their career.
The most well-known type of manager is a people manager. This person is responsible for ensuring that their team of employees is happy, motivated, and working well with the other members of the department. To do this, people managers can set up one-on-one meetings with every member of the team, typically on a weekly or bi-weekly cadence. This time is for checking in on the emotional state of the employee, helping them overcome blockers, assessing for early signs of burnout, and encouraging long-term career growth planning. People managers are also often responsible for delegating work, overseeing compensation structures, and offering promotion opportunities.
Operations management is key to keeping the business afloat. One of the most common types of operations management is logistics. This is where someone is continuously responsible for ensuring that goods or services are delivered at the right time and to the right customer. A chief operations officer (COO) is a senior-level role dedicated to the success of operations management at an organization. This role involves a lot of cross-departmental crisis management and continuous process improvement across all functions of the company.
3Management is an ongoing process
There are very few if any, management tasks that are “one and done.” Most processes on which managers work are repeatable tasks like reporting on progress toward OKRs, meeting with team members in recurring one-on-one meetings, scheduling tasks, or managing budgets. The closest managers get to having one-off tasks is when they’re required to manage crises. Even in these scenarios, managers are expected to maintain a continuous positive and confident attitude that empowers team collaboration and problem-solving. From the type of work they’re completing to the emotions they’re displaying, managers must be very consistent in their work so they are steady role models for the rest of the team.
4Management is a science and art
Managers must have a great understanding of human psychology and emotional intelligence, meaning they must have some understanding of the science and art behind it all. Humans are emotional and sensitive to changes in body language, communication tones, and their physical environments. Great managers are aware of how changes in any of these factors can impact a team member’s performance, motivation, or interest in team collaboration. In addition, managers should have a sense of self-awareness to be able to identify how they are responding to their environment, which will in turn impact how their employees function.
5Management is a group activity
Even decades-long experts need to rely on other managers for support once in a while. A lot of benefits come from collaboration—whether it’s between a group of leaders or with a manager and their team. When considering the broader group, leaders can understand different perspectives which might help find a solution faster or give insights into a problem that the leader would have otherwise never known about.
Similarly, the manager must consider the group’s needs at all times. When delegating tasks to team members, great leaders should factor in the experience and career growth requirements of each team member to ensure that everyone is included fairly.
6Management is an intangible force
In his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni speaks about the importance of management teams acting as a united front when decisions are made. Even if one manager absolutely disagrees with a decision, the best way forward is to act as though all managers agree as a unit. If the disagreeing manager was to be vocal about their dislike of the decision, it can cause divides amongst the other employees of the company and uncertainty about the business’s future. However, acting as a collaborative, aligned force shows the rest of the organization that the leadership team is strong and prioritizes teamwork over individual needs. This translates into a corporate culture where employees will demonstrate the same values!
7Management is all pervasive
From a CEO’s perspective, it’s hard to get to know each employee. But from a low-level employee’s perspective, it’s easy to know who every senior-level executive is and what they’re doing for the company. That’s why management teams need to be ultra-careful about every decision they make. Management’s behavior, decisions, and culture seep into the workings of everything around them. Not only are they role models for the wider company, but they’re also influential in the eyes of external stakeholders like clients and investors.
8Management is a purposeful activity
We’ve all heard of the infamous Spiderman quote, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” This is especially relevant for management teams that hold responsibility for the career success of every individual employed by the organization. Management teams are also responsible for the success of their customers to whom they’ve promised a specific offering and to the external vendors with whom they hold agreements. Maintaining a sense of purpose is so important that it’s recommended that leaders keep a shared document outlining the mission that they intend to serve in their role. This will help ensure accountability through a manager’s career.
9Management is a career
Thinking about your role in management as a career instead of a temporary milestone is important. Once you’ve reached a certain point in your career, you’ll always be managing something or someone. And skills like empathy, quick decision-making, delegation, and clear communication are transferable, no matter which role or level of management you’re working in. As you progress throughout a career in management, keeping a growth mindset will help you continuously improve on vital leadership skills.
Why is it important to understand the functions of management?
Understanding the functions of management is important as it helps train future leaders to be self-aware and to support the needs of their team. A lot of people may view managers as just staff who set schedules and account for budgets—which is part of the job—but really great managers go far beyond that to also empower and grow their employees to the next level within the company. This helps drive up employee loyalty, lower hiring costs, improve internal team morale, and increase productivity!
As your business grows, keeping the functions of management top of mind is essential. Having a central place to store these values will help remind current and future leaders of the value that they’re expected to bring to the organization both in a strategic and tactical capacity. A tool like Fellow can help store your documented expectations for the management team, sync team leads to align on common goals, and set up check-in meetings to collaborate on solutions to any ongoing problems the leadership team is experiencing. As your team adjusts to aligning with the functions of management, you might also want to dig into how to provide feedback as a CEO!