Managing or guiding: what do you prefer?
What do managers do? The most straightforward answer that comes to mind is that they – well, manage. Although that’s not wrong, we’d like you to reconsider this thought for a moment. Because what if managers could take their task a giant step further and serve as guides to their teams, too?
From reactive to proactive: be a guide
Suppose you’re a well-meaning manager who wants to manage a team in the best possible way. You do so using the information that is available at the time. Now, your employees cannot and will not take action before you sit down with them to discuss the data. Although this way, you’re looking out for your organization, you’re not adding anything new to the mix. You’re being reactive without looking ahead.
Let’s try a different, more proactive approach. Say, you use Visual Management to inform your team of all the important things that are happening in real time. Not only does this ensure that your employees are fully up to date, it also allows them to form a picture of what’s going to happen. If you disclose your team’s brain power in this way, individual employees can take action immediately, optimizing your processes all day long. As a manager, you no longer just manage – you provide a look into the future and guide your team, so it can perform at its best.
Predict, anticipate, act: where’s the problem?
Want to know how this works in practice? We’ll give you an example. In a logistics environment, employees deal with packages from morning ‘till night. Nowadays, speed is key in this industry. We used to live in a world where customers received an order one week after placing it. But today, they expect to get their package within two to twenty-four hours. This results in major fluctuations for organizations that need to deliver.
Suppose a package handler in a logistics center is working his morning shift according to schedule. Suddenly, the workforce management system predicts an unanticipated busyness for the afternoon. The digital notification board currently displays green SLA dots, but the forecast dots (those that indicate what the SLA will look like in four hours) color dangerously red. The package handler sees an opportunity to work overtime and make extra money. He calls his family in due time and calmly arranges that he will be home later. Once the hectic kicks in, he’s all set to tackle it. There you go: a problem is solved before it’s occurred.
Stop managing, start guiding!
Interested in guiding instead of managing? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to perform a Quick Scan and discuss your Visual Management opportunities.