If you are reading this, chances are that you have a hunch that the roles we play in daily life at home are the same we play at the workplace in terms of decision-making, collaboration and offer thought leadership to the team. Interpersonal roles in management are increasingly being looked at with caution as slow growth has hit companies in both the developed and developing world.
Human resource is the only asset that can help improve the revenues of the company with the lowest incremental capital cum revenue expenditure. You can only build your company’s technological backbone to a point after which the technical architecture gets saturated. You need human technologies and the power of a team to propel an organization into another trajectory.
Aren’t we living and working in a strange world?
Examining the historical backdrop for better conceptual clarity
So why are we examining interpersonal roles and not looking at other strategies for growth?
A valid question which young management trainees might ask practicing HR Managers.Ever since the industrial revolution triggered imperialism across the world and became the cause of two world wars that wreaked havoc over the entire world, management gurus propounded many theories for better management of companies as the cold war era had descended.
- Better management of human resource became the key to higher retention, better brand building, and more enduring business models. The world had changed so much that an individual’s life was defined by the profession he undertook and the kind of company he worked for. Executives working in public sector organizations had more security and the interpersonal roles in these organizations had a different meaning.
- Those working in the private sector never had any job security, but they were compensated with high paycheques to overcome the risky nature of the private sector.
- By the end of the century, private sector paycheques were sliding, and public-sector wages were marginally on the rise. This triggered a start-up culture across the globe as the youth decided to be job creators rather than job seekers.
- Startups require a different set of interpersonal roles to succeed and you need to undertake observation-based research to find the best HR model that fits your business perfectly. One cannot rely on gut instinct for organizational design.
How different is the reality as compared to a utopian world with cent percent employee satisfaction?
As a figurehead, a manager often has high moral authority within the organization. And he is often called upon to resolve conflicts. So, his interpersonal, leadership and liaison skills are always attested.
- Monitoring roles taken up by managers include informational, disseminator and spokesmen type of roles that fit within an organization.
- Entrepreneurial role performed by a manager comes to the fore while performing conflict management, resource allocation, procurement and salary negotiation tasks.
- Mentoring, training, planning, organizing, directing, controlling are all motivational roles which a manager must play to help the organization succeed.
Deconstructing managerial roles for better clarity
Ten key roles managers play in organizations
As per the research paper presented by Henry Mintzberg in 1990, managers be it male or female take on the following roles during their day to day functioning. These ten roles effectively describe the behaviors portrayed by managers to lead both big and small teams and emerge as successful business leaders.
The following list details out the roles being played by managers during one business day. One thing is clear from the list that 80% of success in the corporate world is through your people-management skills and the rest 20% is through your professional or academic prowess.
- Disturbance Handler
- Resource Allocator
For sake of simplicity, these ten managerial roles can be grouped into three broad areas namely:
Further simplifying the above classification will lead you to the conclusion that a manager plays the role of figurehead, leader, and liaison in one day.
How are these roles played out in actual practice?
An example shall illustrate the sharpness of this concept better.
Just as your mom is also the wife of your dad and the daughter of her father and plays all these roles with equal ease in one day, the same adaptability she brings to the workplace by being the boss when she must take tough decisions or those involving a lot of money. In one workday, she must collaborate with peers in the senior management cadre as women are treated like men in the workplace.
- In practice, through observation-based research, you will find that informational roles are essentially communication roles wherein you must be the educator or trainer in the industry.
Young management executives look up to you for advice to find direction regarding their career planning within the organization.
- Employees trust you more if they have been mentored by you and often stay for years in the company as there is a lot to learn from seniors like you.
- Dissemination role involves action-based roles for implementation. Decision making improves through the proper dissemination of information.
- Interpersonal rules refer to working with other people and is considered as the most crucial role which managers must play.
Practical Ways To Improve Inter-Personal Relationships
Whatever you undertake: be it conflict management, business development or managing operations wherein your role keeps switching every few minutes, you need to keep in mind that managers now must run faster to stay in the same place.
- Customers want more for less and the only way left to make upper profits and witness the obscene amount of cash in your company account is to deliver highly desirable products to customers at high-fat gross margins. Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google lead the way in this regard.
- Since challenges are high, the rewards are equally high and so are expectations, the answer to achieving stratospheric growth is to routinely conduct employee orientation programs. New ways of learning need to be introduced be it game-based learning or classroom type learning.
- Every industry has its own requirement, so hospitality professionals learn better through classroom type training. While IT services employees learn better through game-based learning solutions.
- Outdoor Training is better for trust building and fostering team spirit and reduce politics within the organization.
- Cross training amongst various divisions of the company helps in developing all-rounders who prove to be future business leaders.
Promoting employees based on how much training concepts they have imbibed and implanted in their day to work is one good way to make training interesting rather than being pedantic. Good training is the only way to escape fraud and deal with challenging work environments as employees feel confident of taking on any risks. Military service, security service, and logistics providers lay great emphasis on training well as they know that once they are out there, they can be face-to-face with the most perplexing situations that can be life-threatening at times.
The above pointers will give you a good idea as to what managers can expect in today’s day and age. These are changing times and one needs to adapt fast or else remain left behind in the race for business supremacy.