Five ways being a manager is like parenting

Managing employees is a lot like raising a family: it’s hard work and the hours are long but ultimately it should be fulfilling and totally worth it.

We’ve taken a look at how the skills you need to lead a team overlap with those you need to take care of little ones. As you might have guessed, the two roles have a lot in common…

17 July 2018

That’s why we believe it makes sense to employ parents, and find ways to offer them the flexible roles they’re seeking. In addition to the professional accomplishments you’ll find on their CV, they’re able to bring valuable people-management skills to your business.

So, what exactly do parenting and managing have in common?

1: You’re the referee

Much like breaking up sibling fights at home, there will be times when you’ll have to deal with disagreements and misunderstandings between your staff and will need to find ways to keep the peace. Personnel issues can be one of the trickier aspects of parenting or managing staff. But with good communication, once issues have been resolved and calm has been restored, your team (or should we say your work family) will be stronger than before.

2: People always come to you with questions...

...but, because you’re only human, you don’t always have the answers. That’s OK though because sometimes what’s really required is a conversation so you can figure things out together. If your staff trust you, and you have their back, they will bring your their problems, some of which have nothing to do with work (my old manager used to called this their 'dead cats and dogs'! But don't shoulder it all, if it's a work problem then it’s often easier - and more satisfying for all involved - to get to the bottom of tricky problems as a team.

3: You’re everyone’s emotional rock

Yes, the reasons for emotions running high at home and at work might vary a little. Children may need comforting before they head off for their first day at school, while your staff might need your encouragement and support as they work through challenges at work. But no matter how old (or young!) we are, we all need the emotional support of others to stay happy and productive, and good leadership will provide this.

4: You know the importance of keeping people well fed

Let’s be honest: whether you’re a toddler or a team leader, none of us are at our best when we’re hungry (or overtired, or ill). Caring for your team’s physical needs is as important as managing their performance - in fact, the former has a direct impact on the latter. Whether it’s encouraging your team to take a decent lunch break or implementing a subsidised breakfast scheme or free fruit box, good managers can easily be a positive influence on their teams in the same way a parent is on their children.

5: It’s up to you to keep everyone motivated

Whether your team is embarking on a difficult work project or your kids have to tolerate a long car journey, keeping morale high is crucial. Luckily, there are simple ways to do this: offering plenty of encouragement, motivation and the occasional treat always works like a charm! At work, implementing flexible working could be a great way to motivate your team by showing them that you care about their work life balance and that you trust them to do a good job without being chained to their desk from 9am to 5pm.

For advice or support to develop a flexible working plan for your team, give us a call today 0117 214 1224,