Plant Manager Situational Leadership and Strategy
What is it that plant managers need to know about situational leadership? Let us look at this topic, that many of you have probably heard before, called situational leadership.
Do leaders believe there is one way of doing something, or is this a false preconception? The fact is that there is not just a one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to your leadership approach.
Furthermore, it needs to be tailored a little bit to each team member.
The fact is that there is not just a one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to your leadership approach. Furthermore, it needs to be tailored a little bit to each team member. Click To Tweet
The Result of a “One-Size-Fits-All” Strategy
The leadership team at one of the production facilities we worked for was very hands-off in their leadership approach. They would bring you in, have confidence in you and then throw you into the deep end and hope that you could learn things over time.
They would almost take great pride in saying, “Hey, we were all thrown in the deep end. We all figured things out. It will all work out in the end. We know you can do it.”
And you might say, well, that is not bad. I mean, people do learn from that kind of adversity.
But what they found is that the team members got a lot of stress. They wandered around trying to figure things out, asking each other for tips and getting very little structure and guidance from their supervisor.
Adjusting the Strategy with Front Line Leadership
When we came in, we recommended to the team of leaders that they provide their people with more direction and a hands-on approach to initially build up their confidence and capabilities over time.
This team went through some development sessions with us, and then what they learned is that the leader should actually adjust their approach depending on the task proficiency of the employee or team member.
For example, if I am new to a task, even if I have worked in the organization for a while, I am going to need someone to explain things in a little bit more detail initially, and then slowly withdraw and allow me to act more on my own over time.
When you realize that situational leadership is just being more directive at first, slowly becoming more supportive, and then finally allowing the person to work mostly independently, you would say, oh, okay.
That is a way of getting employees to feel more confident and capable for them to begin feeling secure and not feel that they are left adrift, trying to figure things out for themselves.
How You Can Improve Plant Manager Situational Leadership
Solution #1: Understand Situational Leadership
We cover the topic in a couple of different ways in our program.
One way is, we talk about being more autocratic versus being more coach-like as a different way to look at situational leadership.
If you look at it from the employee’s task proficiency, you would realize that you become more directive upfront and then more supportive over time.
Solution #2: Assess your Team Member’s Task Proficiency
That means looking at each individual on your team and asking:
- How good are they at the tasks that I have assigned them?
- Can they work independently?
- Are they new to this task?
You need to become much more specific in giving directions. That will help them become successful in that task over time.
Remember, it is not just whether the person is a good person. It is related to the task you have assigned them and how confident and capable they are at that task.
Solution #3: Practice a Different Approach
Roughly 60% of leaders only use one style and never use any other approach.
Even if you could add one more style into your mix, adding one more skill set to your repertoire as a leader can be effective. Maybe you start to be a little more directive with newer employees or people new to the task and become more supportive of the experienced ones, practicing a different approach and just being more conscious of the situational leadership approach that you are using.
Roughly 60% of leaders only use one style and never use any other approach. Click To Tweet
Elevate Your Leadership Skills a Step Further
After you have figured out this concept of situational leadership as a plant manager, or a leader at any level in the organization, you might want to work on some of the other leadership skills. That will make you the kind of boss any employee wants to be loyal to, work for, and do their best.
Our Front Line Leadership Program is three days or six half-days of content that you can mix and match as you need to. This can be delivered on-site using conventional classroom training. If it works out better logistically or because of COVID restrictions, you can use our tremendous high-tech multi-camera virtual training studio.
No matter your preference, it all starts with a conversation. You can do so by visiting our website at uniquedevelopment.com. Once we talk about your situation and the solution that will fit, I think you will see us as a resource that can work alongside you over time to build a rock-solid, confident, capable, and consistent leadership team.