6 Different Types of Management Styles and Their Pros & Cons
Posted on May 03, 2019 by Danny Leffel
Have you ever thought about what management style you have? Management styles can vary greatly, even within the same company, and most people have probably worked for someone who implemented a style that didn’t motivate them. Choosing the correct style is important when trying to inspire an employee. If you’ve never considered the various kinds of management before, take a moment to check out the six different types of management styles and their pros and cons below.
The autocratic management style is when one person makes the decisions for the team or company without any input from others. This style lends itself to fast decision making and is useful during periods when time is limited or simple decisions need to be made. It’s not a good fit for employees who like to be a part of the decision-making process or want to take more ownership of their jobs. If this management style is used long term, it can lead to higher turnover rates and disgruntled employees who feel like their voices aren’t being heard.
Because decisions are handed down from managers, if employees fail to comply, they will have to face the consequences. For the most part, employees comply out of a fear of repercussions. This is a strict style that leaves no room for compromise or change. One person is calling the shots, so the company is more likely to keep repeating the same errors.
Like you would imagine, democratic managers involve their employees in making decisions, and the majority wins. It’s a team effort to solve issues when they arise, and everyone gets an opinion. This style works well when complex decisions need to be made or when time isn’t important. It’s especially effective when making long-term decisions that affect employees. Employees who like their voices being heard work well with this type of manager.
Due to the number of people involved when making decisions, it takes longer to reach conclusions about action items. This style can get bogged down by debates and is not a good fit for employees who don’t want a say in the business. Despite its flaws, a lot of managers prefer the democratic style because it fosters bonding and communication. Democratic managers like using tools that help their teams communicate as a means to strengthen those bonds. If you prefer this style, consider using the Crew App to foster better communication and encourage teamwork.
Visionary managers share their ideas and visions for the company with their employees and then allow them the autonomy to make those visions a reality. They are inspirational leaders who are very capable of motivating employees. A visionary manager will check in with employees to make sure they’re still on track. As long as they’re being productive, a visionary manager is happy. This style gives control of projects to employees, which leads to employees being more satisfied and motivated to work on them.
Visionary leaders shower their employees with praise when they do well and provide feedback when things don’t go according to plan. With a great leader, this is one of the better management styles for employees to work under; however, the effectiveness of the style is intrinsically tied to the leader’s personality and ability to sway people to their ideals. If the leader’s charisma fails, employees can quickly find themselves disillusioned with the company.
The transactional style uses bribes and bartering to convince employees to do their jobs. It relies on the team members being willing to accept incentives — like bonuses and other benefits — in exchange for following the manager’s commands. This leadership style doesn’t encourage professional development for employees and doesn’t care if employees believe in the company’s vision or purpose. Reward-motivated individuals work well under transactional leadership.
The reward system can get murky as soon as managers start asking employees to engage in immoral behavior in exchange for higher salaries or bigger bonuses. Transactional leadership can work well for a while, but at a certain point, extrinsic motivation may no longer be enough to rally employees.
The transformational style relies on innovation. These managers believe that the best way to get ahead of the competition is to constantly try new things. They push their employees to leave their comfort zones and think outside the box. They are generally good at adapting to changing environments and aren’t afraid to work side-by-side with their employees to accomplish their goals. Employees working under a transformational leader tend to be dedicated to and happy with their work.
The biggest drawback to this style comes from the devotion that it requires. If a leader isn’t careful, they can push their employees into the burnout zone. The constant need to come up with new ideas can take a toll on an employee’s mental health, so good managers need to make sure they don’t cross that line.
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Laissez-faire, or “hands-off,” managers allow their employees to make the majority of decisions for the company without their interference. These managers act as mentors and sounding boards for employees and only take part in the decisions when necessary. This is the favored style for tech startups because it’s conducive to risk-taking. Since it’s the opposite of autocratic, the laissez-faire method attracts the opposite type of employees. People who love to be the center of the decision making excel under this style; however, a laissez-faire approach tends to be slower when it comes making decisions.
Creatives who need space to cultivate ideas prefer this method. It’s not a very popular choice for most businesses because the consequences for poor decisions can be detrimental, but some managers choose to run specific projects using this style.
Not all management styles fall into these six categories, and many people use a mixture of different types. If you find yourself struggling to motivate certain employees, take a step back and think about which management style you think they would respond to the most. Learning new management skills and finding the right way to connect with your employees will always pay off.