Google “management style” and you’ll get more than 89 million results. Dig around a bit in those millions of results and you’ll find that there’s a lot of repetition. Everyone builds from two broad categories to create from four to six styles.
Most begin with two contrasting styles commonly referred to as autocratic and permissive. These two styles represent the opposite ends of the spectrum regarding how decisions are handled. The autocratic leader makes decisions unilaterally with little or no input from their team, while permissive managers leave most, if not all, decision-making to employees.
The Benefits of Different Management Styles
Autocratic management styles are desirable when you want a greater degree of control or need to make fast decisions. This is particularly beneficial when your business needs to move quickly to stay competitive.
Permissive management styles can cause chaotic work environments with the wrong team. However, the lack of guidance can create an atmosphere of innovation, encouraging new leaders to step forward. These motivated, self-directed employees are free to tap their creativity and develop innovative ideas and solutions for the company.
Various management types are created by blending these two extremes in differing degrees. Some common management styles include:
Autocratic: The traditional style in manufacturing and industrial settings, this is top down dictatorial decision making. Useful when communicating safety issues, regulations, and decisions that do not require employee input. This style is used less frequently in today’s quickly changing work environments.
Paternalistic: This style is also dictatorial, but includes the best interest of the employees as well as the business. The manager still makes all the decisions, and then tries to gain employee commitment and support. This style can be useful but can lead to employees in the modern workplace feeling manipulated and not empowered.
Democratic: This style is popular and often effective. As the name suggests, everyone has a say in the decision-making process. However, an inexperienced workforce can cause the process to be drawn out. You can avoid this problem by informing employees at the beginning of the discussion that their input is needed, but the manager will make the final decision.
Laissez-Faire: This style is based on trust, the key to success is to build a strong team and then stay out of the way. Laissez-fair leadership doesn’t fit every organization, but those with employees who enjoy a wide degree of latitude in making decisions and working on projects autonomously will do well.
Is Your Construction Management Software’s Management Style Affecting Your Business?
Take a look around your office, warehouse or building site and you’ll see a computer. They tell us what we need to do, control inventories, when a job is due—even where we’ll be working tomorrow. Computers run our lives, and just like their human counterparts, their effectiveness depends on their management style.
One’s individual management style is a reflection of their personal attitude about leading. It demonstrates their values and beliefs. Using their individual style as a foundation, the most effective managers realize they need to draw from a variety of styles depending on the situation.
When choosing construction management software begin by looking for one that has an appropriate style for your company. Do you need strict procedures and workflows, or do you require something with fewer restrictions? Once you’ve found a good match, be sure that the system is flexible enough to adapt as your business changes.
Just as the most effective managers can shift from one management style to another depending on the situation, the most effective construction management software is flexible and able to adjust to your style and situation.
If your construction management software is stuck in a rigid autocratic mode giving you little say in how things work, or if it is so loosey-goosey it doesn’t give you the control and business intelligence you need, it’s time to look for new software.