Gone are the days when managers only give instruction, instruction, and instruction. Managers and leaders today should also be a good teacher.
It is obvious that managers should know that they are responsible to provide and deliver the materials needed by their employees. Sydney Finkelstein, the Steven Roth professor of management, said that teaching is not merely an extra for a good manager but it is an integral responsibility. Hence, if you are not teaching, you are not really leading.
“The day you are no longer able to teach something to those who depend on you – the day you stop surprising them – is the day you will lose credibility as a manager.” – Gabriel Ginebra
Through teaching and mentoring employees, managers can show how employees become something much more than they imagine, which in the long run, it will be massively advantageous for both employees and company. First, employees can find meaning in working with you. They can gain more skills and experience – two things that employees always thirst to find. Second, engaged and high morale employees will eventually become happier in any task assigned, resulting in higher productivity, performance, and ROI.
While it is said that being a manager is also being a teacher, these two roles actually have different responsibilities. A manager should be able to manage and ensure that employees are productive, happy, and in a state of wellbeing. Meanwhile, manager as a teacher should dedicate his time to teach and improve employee’s knowledge.
For example, your employee is unable to operate well at work and unable to do his project full-heartedly. In this case, the best option is to put your teacher hat and invest in some serious teaching to ensure that the employee understands and knows how to finish the project. Thus, the project can be done on time without stress.
On the other hand, if employees have low productivity level even after personal input, you need to switch to a managerial hat and become a manager who implements an accountability process to ensure productivity level increase and performance level stable.
In conclusion, to balance both roles between teacher and manager, you need to know when the right time to teach and when the right time to manage. Albeit you can ask employees regarding this matter – whether they need a guide or just support – as the responsible one, you need to be able to read the situation and initiate the action.