5 Management Styles & Their Affects in the Workplace

Over the years you have probably dealt with a good number of managers, and chances are, all of them used a different method of management than the other(s). While some management styles are more appropriate than others depending on the workplace circumstances, some are generally considered better to use than others because they focus more on the employee-management relationship. Regardless of whether or not you are an employee or a manager, it is important to find the appropriate style that works best for both you, and the company at large. 

The relationship managers maintain with their employees is very important, not only to the success of the company, but also to workplace satisfaction and productivity. Some scenarios, more specifically those of emergency situations, affect what style of management will be used under such circumstances. To that end, your management style will also likely shift periodically in order to meet business expectations and handle unforeseeable obstacles that comes with daily operations. Again, everyone is different, and you will have to consider your own personality when determining which style works best for you, but here are five popular styles of management to help you figure it out.

1. Autocratic (Authoritarian)

Autocratic management means essentially that one person (the manager) is in charge and has the final word on all decisions, without question. Managers that utilize this style of management often create a feeling of mistrust between employees and themselves, eliminating the potential for creative collaboration and promoting an air of discipline within the workplace. Employees feel like they are replaceable, and job satisfaction tends to suffer, making this style very unpopular in today’s business world. However, as mentioned before, autocratic management can be very useful under certain circumstances like medical or equipment malfunction emergencies.

2. Democratic

Much more popular among employees, the democratic management style allows employees and manages to work together collaboratively in order to maintain job satisfaction and workplace productivity. Managers listen to and consider the opinions and concerns of the employees before making final decisions. This promotes a more ‘open-door’ style of communication, in which managers usually offer up information, or options, and has the employees provide feedback. While this method is great for minimizing conflict among employees, it does take more time to make decisions, which may also not be in the best interest of the company because they are partly focused at employee satisfaction and not entirely on industry trends or company productivity.  

3. Paternalistic

A paternalistic manager, while viewed as more of an authoritarian figure, is generally more concerned with employee satisfaction than with company profit or workplace productivity. Even though a bottom-up system of communication is used to express employee concerns with management, those needs and concerns are often promised to be handled without any assigning of responsibility to see that the issue really gets resolved. This causes inconsistency and avoidance of negative situations or confrontations on the part of management, making this a less popular style of management.

4. Laissez-faire

Laissez-faire management takes more of an employee-does-all approach, essentially throwing micromanagement to the wind. Here, managers allow employees to make decisions on their own rather than control every aspect of an employee’s work. This relieves managers of a degree of responsibility and promotes a feeling of ownership among the employees, who are more willing to take charge of their work knowing it is in their own hands. The only drawback of this management style is that it leaves employees who want to see a degree of leadership in the workplace with feelings of discontent and frustration.

5. Servant Leadership

One of the more difficult styles to be successful at, servant leadership managers focus entirely on encouraging, supporting, and enabling their employees to reach their full potential. Managers using the servant style must be extremely humble, and have an ability to develop a corporate-like culture within an existing enterprise. While this approach can be beneficial, it is often the most difficult style to perform, and can, again, lower the ability of management to perform a leadership role in daily operations.