The “Just Checking” Manager

It’s very common for newly minted managers to be too cute and unassertive. When needing to check up on an employee who used to be a peer just months ago, they usually go for the non-checking check:

“By the way, where are we with the X project?” Or even just a Slack message that might get answered today and might not. Of course the same goes for managers who, at 12pm, still aren’t sure whether their employee is going to show up to work that day.

Yes, it’s more amicable, and certainly less likely to make team members say the manager “changed” or “let it go to their heads.” But, a manager’s job isn’t to be a friend or peer, it is to manage.

Make sure that your team leaders know how to get answers from their team, and where things are at. It’s not micromanaging to get statuses from people, and one is not a nightmare boss for wanting to know ahead of time when employees take time off.

If you’re managing managers, make sure that they know what’s expected of them. The sooner they take the right attitude with their team, the easier the transition will be and more natural. Waiting too long can result in irreversible damage – the team members may never be able to treat their managers as managers, resulting in a dysfunctional team.