Over the last decade, nearly all markets have expanded as computerization and modernization have led to a dramatic shift in the industry's initial customer base. Market changes and new industry techniques now require managers to update their management styles to keep up with the growing demands to meet sales goals while enforcing good work habits and encouraging high employee performance.

Not so long ago, a frontline person with substantial product knowledge was all you needed to sell a product. In today’s world, many managers find that being educated about a product is only a portion of the equation that equals a thriving business.

Currently, many industries are experiencing a trend where managers deliver services and manage work for their businesses. Many management leaders are wearing multiple hats — satisfying their management roles and engaging in customer service roles, delegating work to other employees, and managing their business assets and inventories. Skill sets have changed for frontline management.

Many business leaders are discovering that while the business itself may be growing and developing, the competencies of their frontline managers aren't changing in response. When a frontline manager is responsible for doing and managing the work, they may find that it creates its own complexities.

Managing More Effectively: Inspect What You Expect

How often have you seen a manager walking down the hallway turn to an employee and verbally delegate responsibility on the fly? We all know how the story goes ... they make eye contact, and the employee says something like, ‘Sure, boss, I'll handle that.’ At this point, the manager thinks they have passed on the responsibility expecting results, whereas the employee may walk away thinking, “Wow ... what just happened here and what am I supposed to be doing?”

One of the easiest ways to help overworked managers lighten their load is to exercise effective delegation. The savvy manager knows that the first rule in delegation is that delegating on the fly equals poor employee performance.

A manager that engages in delegation on the fly or delegates responsibilities unclearly, in essence, is communicating to the employee that they will never expect them to follow through with the responsibilities they are assigned. This management style breeds poor performance and can ultimately affect a business’s bottom line.

Consistency and accountability are the keys to developing an effective working relationship with employees. I always stress that if employees know that their managers will consistently inspect what they expect from their workers, they will undoubtedly have more initiative to get it done.