Submitted by Ian Howcroft, Vice President, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Ontario and Mona Mitchell, President & CEO, ACHIEVEBLUE Corporation
In spite of economic cycles, market fluctuations, increased global competitiveness and consolidations, one thing remains constant – the need for high impact management skills. And while the specific competencies may have expanded beyond coaching and decision making to include leading transformation and sustainable innovation, the quality of leaders is a distinct competitive advantage to organizations in all sectors of the economy. Today, people simply won’t support and follow unless they have confidence in their managers and leaders.
Most organizations’ competitive advantage is to ensure they have the talent. Ensuring this talent is engaged, motivated and emotionally involved in the success of their employer is key to continued growth. Maintaining an engaged workforce falls heavily on the role of managers.
Managers are not only required to lead their respective teams to execute the company’s strategies but often set the standard in attitude, behaviour and results for the workforce. In order to be successful, you need ensure that your managers have the skills to be effective. They need to be communicating more frequently, providing feedback on an ongoing basis and more importantly, coaching their teams for success. Building a talent-rich environment requires development of managers and employees at all levels. Management performance measurement should reflect a manager’s ability to not only achieve set goals, but to coach, inspire and lead their team to success.
A successful manager is actively engaged in the success of the business through execution and management of his/her individual and team’s body of work. Without the ability to manage the strengths and weaknesses of the team, it is unrealistic to hold a manager accountable for his/her team’s output.
In an environment where head count is being affected without the manager’s input or knowledge, corporate loyalty is put at risk. Managers need to be given the training and tools to mentor their team in a changing landscape, providing informed feedback and keeping the group focused on projects and strategic initiatives. A strong manager is not only a great leader but a corporate advocate.
To assist CME members deal with leadership challenges and opportunities, CME has several programs including The Active Leadership Program and The Lead To Succeed Curriculum. These initiatives were designed to help companies leverage their talent and resources to improve productivity and the bottom line. More information can be found at our website: www.cme-mec.ca or our partner ACHIEVEBLUE Corporation at www.achieveblue.com/management-development.php. CME members are entitled to a membership discount.