One of the biggest challenges that modern managers face is how to motivate employees and equip them with the necessary skills to meet current and future organizational needs.

4 Types of Managers

Over time, different types of management styles have been identified; each approaching employee development uniquely.

1. Teacher Manager

Teacher managers seek to develop their employees by directing the process of development, giving them feedback in the form of advice and generally using their expertise and experience to improve employees. These are the least common types of managers.

2. Always-on Managers

These types of managers have a hands-on approach to employee development. They focus on providing employees with continuous and regular coaching. They also try to give employees feedback on a wide range of skills. Because always-on managers treat employee development as a daily responsibility, many people believe they are the most dedicated to employee development and therefore the best type of managers.

3. Connector Managers

While always-on managers give feedback on a wide range of skills, connector managers only give feedback in their specific areas of expertise. Where they feel incompetent, connector managers will introduce employees to mentors or coaches who are experts on the task or skills at hand. Connector managers, therefore, spend a lot of time assessing the skills and interests of employees with a view of connecting them to the people who can help them best.

4. Cheerleader Managers

These types of managers are more hands-off in their approach to employee development. They encourage employees to take control of their growth and development. They also provide motivational support to their employees including through positive feedback. Interestingly, cheerleaders are the most common type of managers

Which Style is Best?

Always-on managers are often thought to be the best kind of managers because they spend a lot of time and effort on employee development. However, research suggests that the amount of time spent on employee development matters very little to employee performance. Research shows that Always-on leaders are more likely to harm employee performance. According to research by Gartner, Always-on managers could reduce employee productivity by up to 8%.

This is because employees may be overwhelmed by their constant coaching and continuous feedback. Always-on managers may also find themselves teaching employees skills that they have not personally mastered. This means that always-on managers are likely to mislead employees in some areas.

In contrast, connector managers, cheerleaders, and teachers may improve employee performance by 26%, 9% and 7% respectively. This is a clear indication that connector managers are the most effective for employee development.