In a lot of ways, managers have incredibly tough roles. They have accountability both above and below them, and often times the goals of both sides do not directly align. When it comes to employee advocacy, managers really have to get creative. On one hand, building trust with their team is essential, but they also have to honor all the things their own bosses expect from them as well. Here are three smart ways that managers can try to find a middle ground and achieve that harmony between those above, and below them.
Always Have a Third Eye
No employee wants to spend their workday walking on eggshells and feeling like they are being so closely monitored by their boss that they cannot even breathe. But when an incident occurs, and it becomes one person’s word against another, managers who have monitoring tools set in place are always grateful to have that third eye. In the logistics industry, management has the extra difficult element of not being about to be physically with the team they manage.
With road employees constantly on the go, and moving around all day every day, you have to put something in place in terms of monitoring. You can use AI dash cams to capture high-definition video of critical events. What this does is it gives your superiors access to needed evidence, and your employees something that they can count on in terms of being able to share their version of events.
Be Up to Date on Their Performance
Inevitably, those on your team are going to want raises at some point. Whether that means a pay raise, promotion, reorganization, or some combination of all three, smart managers know that already having a good frame of reference for their performance metrics in advance of these requests is important. Especially in times when someone who reports to you has to go to someone above you to discuss their efforts. That third party is going to want your opinion and what they are definitely not going to want is to hear you say that you are unsure or unaware of how this individual brings value to the team.
Learning how to provide feedback in both directions is so critical. This works in times of bad news as well. If someone that you report to assigns you a task of delivering uncomfortable feedback to one of your direct reports, on their behalf, you are certainly going to be glad that you already have an established rapport with that person as opposed to coming in hot with bad news.
Bridge the Gap
One of the most toxic elements of any professional team is a large divide. It is reasonable and reality that there be different tiers of positions within one company or team, but as a manager, it is up to you to help bridge that gap. Gone are the days of authoritarian leadership. People in today’s world value transparency and access much more than they used to, and are not intimidated by titles like President, CEO, or Partner anymore. Especially if you are managing hybrid teams, finding the value in making people feel like they are not missing a beat is a great way to advocate for the inclusion of your team members.