Top 5 Challenges a Manager Faces Daily

Although my journey as a manager hasn’t been so long I will tell you 2 things that most of the managers that will read this will understand and you “the guy who is aspiring to be a great manager in your organization” will understand one day when it hits you.

  1. The hardest part of becoming a manager is the start, facing the change, filling another manager’s shoes and everybody around you are waiting for your failure, this is the first time it hits you, it feels like you bought a luxuries house in an area full of gangs and crimes, you are expecting yourself to fail, you feel you are an imposter, this is not your place, but you also feel great, that all the years’ efforts have finally paid off, you are going to be great.
  2. You realize the challenges that your managers have gone through, how they were as clueless as you, scared to make a mistake, scared to give you vacation and then regret it, want to hear comforting talks from their teams and doesn’t always have an answer.

The below article is inspired but the book “Work Happy” by Jill Geisler, I highly recommend this book for every manager who wants to be a great manager ad leader, So here are the top 5 challenges you will face while being a manager

Managers disappoint people every day

80% of your time will be communicating and making decisions, most of this decision will be in favor of one side over the other, you will favor ideas that you don’t prefer, assign tasks to employees, enforce rule you are not convinced with, resolve conflicts, criticizing employees work and deciding on employees raises and promotions. And sometimes it gets much harder, deciding on cutting salaries and letting people go, good luck with this :D.

Managers push people out of their comfort zone

Today’s workplace is very challenging, every other day there is a new technology, new tools, new process, and new methodologies, you have to push your team to cross the boundaries, fetch their old ways, increase productivity while maintaining quality, you have to be the first to learn these stuff and keep a high moral along the way, sometimes your older team members will have to learn from younger ones and you have always to watch competitions and be ahead of them in adopting these new technologies.

Managers are always caught in the middle

You have to learn to manage up and manage down, to meet upper managers expectations and hold employees to their commitments, you have to influence people to do things without having using your position and in all of this you are in the middle, a translator, a negotiator, and a shock absorbed, advocating employees ideas, issues and ambitions, you enforce upper management deadlines and you always try to satisfy and reconcile all the parties, this is my friend the one that breaks many of the managers that I have met, the continuous pressure from all side, the low stamina in handling conflict and meeting expectation.

Managers can’t always tell people what they want to know

As they say “Knowledge is power” and it truly is, and one of the most frustrating and scaring thing that can happen to a member in your team is not being in the loop, feeling left out, and it’s your responsibility to feed information to your team but in the same time, choose the right information and the right time to do so, and as it’s most important for a great leader to be transparent with his team it’s also9 very important sometimes to be discrete, whether it’s business information or employees personal matter, sometimes you better leaving this information disclosed and this can lead to many frustrating situations that you will have to learn how to handle gracefully as a seasoned manager.

Managers make mistakes

You will spend most of your days making different kinds of decision, some are big and some are small but you will not get it right every time, you have to live with that and to take it gracefully, sometimes you are unprepared or over confidant, sometimes you are biased or blindside but in all means, you have to take it all, be responsible, not blaming anybody, learning from your mistake and move on trying to rebuild your credibility again and again.

It’s always healthy to keep these challenges in mind, knowing that in the territory of management you have to be vigilant yet not paranoid, learning to deal with consistent pressure and building up your stamina to make decisions and handle problems, and it’s very important to constantly develop your skills and strategies to tackle these challenges and this will be the subject of our article, see you there

Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Teams

Virtual team is an emerging new-age trend with followers across business sectors. Just like any other new trend, the virtual team also has to undergo strict scrutiny of researchers to weigh its advantages and disadvantages before being accepted by the professionals. The advantages and disadvantages of virtual teams can be looked upon from three levels – individual, organizational and societal as a whole. This article summarizes different perspectives on the advantages and disadvantages of the virtual team and serves as ready reference guide to our readers.

Advantages of Virtual Teams

  • Cost savings – The biggest advantage of virtual team enjoyed by an organization is the associated cost savings. The organization can do away with huge expenses on real estate, office spaces, utilities bills such as gas, electricity, water etc. and executives’ travel. Many organizations outsource their operations to the low-cost regions. Thus production cost also decreases with the reduced raw material cost, operational costs and lower wages of the employees in these geographic locations.
  • Leverage Global Talent – Virtual Teams allows organizations to look for talent beyond their country of origin. This brings together the experts and specialists from across the globe to work together on the project. Increased knowledge sharing and greater innovation happens as organization’s human capital share their understanding of global and local markets as well as best business practices.
  • Increased Productivity & Higher Profits – Members of virtual teams tend to have higher focus on the task at hand. As a practice virtual team supports flatter organization structure. The members do not have to deal with unnecessary bureaucracy which slows down the decision making. This enhances the productivity which shows as higher profits.
  • Reduced Time to Market – Since the members span the time zones, there could be different team working on the same project 24*7, so when one member sleeps there will be another one somewhere else who would start work where the former had left. This shortens the product development time as well as faster response time to demands in both global and local markets.
  • Newer Opportunities – If we see at larger societal level, virtual teams have created newer opportunities for people who are less mobile and hesitant to relocate due to either family requirement or physical challenge. Now any task that does not require the physical presence of a person and which can be supported by communication technology throws an opportunity for many deserving candidates.

Disadvantages of Virtual Teams

  • Cost of Technology – The successful working of virtual team is supported by the efficient use of multiple communication technologies such as instant messaging, emails and video-conferencing, among others. No one tool can provide the complete support. The cost associated with these installation and maintenance tools is little on the higher side.
  • Conflicts, Lack of Trust & Collaboration – The cultural differences between the members of virtual teams gives rise to number of conflicts. For example, while an American would write a straightforward email describing a bad situation, this would be perceived as impolite by a South Asian (say Japanese) member of the team. This would lead to conflicts, mistrust and difficulties in fruitful collaboration which is so vital for the success of virtual team functioning. These challenges are also precipitated by the absence of non-verbal cues so intrinsic to face-to-face interactions.
  • Social Isolation – Many members of virtual teams are adversely affected by the lack of physical interactions. Most of the communications in virtual environment is task-oriented. In today’s society where job is an important social force for most of us because many of our workplace colleagues also constitute our close friends, this gives a not-so-good feeling of social isolation. This in turn counter-effects productivity as well as leads to stress.

All these disadvantages can be overcome by following a different leadership/managerial approach, trainings, greater role clarity and effective communication strategies. Organization both big ones such as IBM, Microsoft, Whirlpool as well as SMEs are reaping the benefits of virtual teams for some time now. It has been a well-recognized fact that Virtual Team is not a passing tide but it is here to stay.