Management 101 or Respect/Intimidation & Fear?

Management 101


Respect / Intimidation & Fear?


The following are my thoughts on a management “style” that seems to be finding its way back into many automotive facilities across the country.  It is probably being seen in other businesses as well, but for this article we are going to focus on what I have seen in our industry, the Automotive World!

Now, to be fair before I start here I do need to point out that this intimidation or fear style of management does occur a LOT more as the temperature warms up!  I get it, this is hard work, both physically and mentally and when it is hot outside, it seems it is even harder.

So, as an employee, what affects you more and puts you in “the mood” to work?  Someone yelling at you, threatening you, or simply screaming because he/she needs to get something fixed, changed or corrected?  Or someone who comes to you and asks, “what can we do to correct this issue”, “how can I help you fix this” or “how do you think we can resolve this problem”?  Think long and hard about that answer……..OK, times up.  And your answer is………..??  The obvious answer is that one response will probably bring about negative results and the other, well, POSITIVE results. So let’s look at each and why one way is better than the other.  Before we go there, one statement needs to be noted; this is NOT about the millennials, generation X or even the baby boomers, as a matter of fact age has very little to do with it!

When you use intimidation, threats, screaming or yelling at employees you end up with people that generally can’t or won’t think for themselves, they can’t for fear of someone yelling at them.  And since they either can’t or won’t think for themselves any longer, you end up with what we’ll call “drones”.  You know, a drone, you’ve seen them many times before, they require permission to do everything because they have been taught through the actions of others that they must ask before doing.  So the intimidator becomes so busy telling everyone how and when to do things that he is constantly battling time management issues regarding getting his/her own work done.  And then because he/she are behind, they once again turn to anger and intimidation to get things done, and this cycles repeats itself over and over until the employees cycle through and we once again have a fresh group to threaten.  If you want to cycle through your employees, OR, you have seen many employees cycling through your business, you might want to talk with them and see if you have an intimidator on staff.  Are you doing employee exit interviews, and asking your employees to be open with you?  After all, they are already leaving there is no need to hold back now!!  AND LISTEN TO THEM!!  Sure some will simply be disgruntled, but look for a reoccurring theme, watch your current employee’s faces when they are around particular management personnel and ACT!!  The longer you wait, the harder it is going to be to find good employees because people talk and this isn’t a big industry!

Now, the flipside to the intimidator: the manager or managers that have gained the respect of everyone around them, again, through their actions, not their words.  Happy employees work harder, the “mood” in the facility is generally better, production goes up, customers are happier because they are dealing with happier people……well, this list could go on and on!  Now, I am not a trained psychologist but I am good with numbers and I’ll bet that if all of that is true, then there would/could be more customers coming through our doors resulting in more money in everyone’s pocketbook.  And let’s not forget, less stress throughout the business and employees that want to stay!

So, to sum this up, less turn-around of employees, happier employees, fewer new trainees, happier customers…..maybe this IS a better way to go.  Maybe!!

Have you ever heard the term; he/she commands respect, or they demand respect?  This applies to all of the above statements and notes.  Those who “demand respect” usually end up with negative employees, employees that have one foot out the door every day they are at work and employees that are always looking for the greener grass on the other side of the fence.  However, those, who through their actions “command respect” are generally followed by people or employees who feel they have found a “home”, people who want to stay and may even put up with minor issues in order to stay close.

Bottom line here, we have all dealt with those size 12 managers as this was the way to get things done decades ago, and certainly there may still be employees that require a firmer hand (or more simply, replacement), but if you allow your business (or even your personal life) to be ruled by a dictator or intimidator, you are setting yourself up for failure!  It may not fail today or even tomorrow, but it will fail eventually!!  Set yourself up for success and train your management team how to deal with the employees!  If you don’t I guarantee that your employee revolving front door will eventually need replacement because of overuse!!

If you need help with your business and want to see and feel the successes you expected when you opened your doors, give us a call at: The ACT Group, 805-444-2598 or visit our website for more information