Being a manager is never an easy task. You have to wear multiple hats; from being a leader that makes key decisions to being a visionary that drives change and transformation, to being a problem-solver during crises and even being a friend in the times when your employees need a shoulder to lean on.

Taking on the role of a manager requires you to be the best version of yourself at work, or even taking on a new identity sometimes. It means understanding the personality mix and working styles of your employees, understanding the culture of the organisation, and -- combining all of this together to be what your employees and organisation needs, while still retaining aspects of your authentic self.

So, what type of manager are you and how is it influencing your employees’ growth and productivity?

According to Roca, the co-author of "The Connector Manager — Why Some Leaders Build Exceptional Talent and Others Don’t.", there are 4 types of managers. Out of these four types, one of them degrades productivity -- and it is not the one you expect.

The Four Types of Managers:

1. The Teacher Manager

This manager seeks to develop employees’ skills based on their own expertise. They provide advice-oriented feedback and tend to consider their approach to be correct largely due to their experience and expertise. Expect Teacher Managers to steer employee development on a track that matches their skills and experiences.

Pros: Their approach helps to encourage a thirst for learning among employees. Individuals will be more likely to be able to reach their full potential and contribute to a high-powered workforce.

Cons: A possible downside is that they may always want to be the expert, even when a subordinate has more expertise on the topic. Also, employees may feel too much pressure to perform as well as the manager, leading to burnout or turnover.

2. The Always-On Manager

These managers are the opposite of hands off. They will provide frequent feedback and coaching to drive employee development, often going the extra mile to give employees development opportunities even if they lack the personal experience.

Pros: The attitude of these managers often earns them the respect of their employees, thereby motivating their employees.

Cons: This type of management runs the risk of micromanaging, and might actually degrade employee performance. In fact, employees who are proactive and knowledgeable can find this style difficult to work under as it can lead them to feeling overwhelmed.

3. The Cheerleader Manager

This style of manager takes a mostly hands-off approach and offers very supportive feedback. They can often be seen empowering employees to take development into their own hands. They also tend to give positive feedback instead of criticisms.

Pros: A nurturing environment that encourages both success and failures is often the best environment for an employee to grow and reach their potential, particularly early in their careers.

Cons: Employees may consider these types of managers their buddy. When this happens, work might not be completed and deadlines not met, leading to a decline in work quality and employee productivity.

4. The Connector Manager

These managers focus on building relationships and creating a positive team environment while providing targeted feedback to their employees. Instead of providing advice in areas where they do not have the expertise, they will connect employees to others who can offer strength in a variety of skills. Because of this, the connector manager is the ideal management style for developing talent.

Pros: This is the best type of manager style for employee development and productivity. Being able to build strong connections with their teams, they will be able to understand when an employee might be disengaged or performing poorly. Also, building a positive working environment will help to foster a collaborative and motivating work environment. Lastly, being able to connect employees with others within the larger organisation allows for faster employee development and growth.

Cons: Although a positive and collaborative workplace is a great way to keep up employee morale, it might not leave much room for conflict or criticism when something needs to be improved.

“Our study tested the conventional wisdom of what it means to be a manager and found that the approach to coaching and development that most organizations are promoting today — the Always-On manager approach — actually does more harm than good,”  – Jaime Roca, Senior Vice President, Gartner

Only the Connector manager approach had an outsized positive impact on employee performance, boosting employee performance by up to 26%, and more than triple the likelihood that the employees they coach will be high performers.

Find out for yourself which type of manager you are based on your coaching behaviours by taking the Gartner quiz.


Learn how Asavi can help you find the right managers to support your organization's talent development priorities.

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