In a recent blogpost, we discussed the differences between compliant and committed employees. Retaining motivation isn’t only contingent upon your employees. One of the main factors that make a difference in work ethic is supervisory care. Employees who are comfortable in their environment, who take initiative, and are willing to take healthy risks goes hand in hand with a management style that makes clear rules, encourages workers, and values individuals. However, if you aren’t seeing growth in your employees, you may be spoon-feeding them with too much direction, and not enough freedom.

Are you letting go enough to let your employees grow, or are you simply spoon-feeding them?  

Below is The Lee Group’s list of the different characteristics of these two leadership methods to help you determine what you can do to improve your office environment.

Spoon-fed Management 

  • Gives orders, policies, and rules because that is the way it has always been done.
  • Tells employees how to do their job, but does not give supportive feedback.
  • Allows for little to no input from employees.
  • Does not follow-up with team members after a project.
  • Looks out for the success of the team, but overlooks individuals.
  • May assign leadership roles to employees, but micromanages the job instead of allowing experiential learning.
  • Often takes over a project when problems arise.
  • Focuses on output productivity rather than seeing opportunities to develop skills.

Spoon-feeding creates employees, who are dependent and compliant, rather than leaders and supportive team members. Not only that, but also spoon-feeding managers often come across as controlling, overbearing, or untrusting. When you have a supportive management style, the focus is not so much on what you produce, but on the growth of individuals for the betterment of the whole. Take a look at how supportive managers operate.

Supportive Management

  • Takes pride in accomplishments, big or small.
  • Cares about the well-being not only of the team, but also of individuals.
  • Encourages response and input from team members.
  • Is present and engaged in meetings.
  • Makes an effort to develop and mentor committed employees.
  • Fosters an open table for new ideas and suggestions from everyone on the team.
  • Assigns leadership roles to tenured employees.
  • Gives advice on how to navigate issues rather than taking over.
  • Allows margin for healthy risk-taking and failure.

Management blogger Bret Simmons give this great piece of advice about what supportive environment looks like:

“Employees need support at work if they are expected to deliver the performance and citizenship that result from engagement. If employees believe they work for folks that don’t value their contributions or care about their well-being, they won’t feel safe enough to fully engage in their work.”

Both supportive and spoon-fed management give advice and direction, but the distinction lies in the amount of personal and professional growth of employees. You’ve probably heard the popular quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” At The Lee Group, we like to say, “Be the employee you want to want to see in your office.” Commit to setting the example of a supportive leader, and your employees will take initiative in their respective roles as well.

Are you ready to break the mundane routine of spoon-fed management? The Lee Group is a place where success stories are realities. Our dedicated staff has a track record of finding excellent candidates who will help your company achieve its short or long-term goals. Visit our contact page to receive more information.

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Ellie Howard in the Lee Group Newport News office Tuesday May 31, 2022.