How to Change Management Style From Command to Coaching

What is almost de rigueur in Silicon Valley tech companies, but still not as widespread in others? An open collaborative culture. The results do speak for themselves, if one is to count the successes of many companies in northern California. There’s definitely less of the demotivating command-and-control structure found in other companies.

A rigid top-down system that channels all decision-making and authority in one place without giving the talents and staff room for autonomy can rob them of their power, and ultimately, damage the company’s productivity, according to AZBigMedia.

Another casualty would be the organization’s corporate culture. The employees and assignees who breathe this corporate toxicity every single day will find it restrictive, stifling, and not at all conducive to creativity. It would only be a matter of time before they start submitting their resignation papers.

Talents need to shine and show their mettle to everyone, especially their leaders. They want to be given the opportunity to perform and grow in their responsibilities. They need to be given recognition and appreciation after doing a good job. Most important, deep within, it is imperative for them to know that their organizations and immediate leaders or supervisors trust them to do their job, if not deliver an outstanding performance.

It’s hard to do that in a Big-Brother-like corporate culture that watches their every move, restricts any kind of autonomy with inflexible rules, and deprives them of initiative. As the millennial workforce might say, following orders from the top without question and without any avenue for collaboration is so last-century. That kind of organizational practice would in time stagnate the organization. There should be some counterbalance. Proper mechanisms are also needed to bring order to an organization.

Here are three suggestions to change and shape corporate culture positively:

Change supervision style from command to coaching  

In this recommendation by Systems Thinker, supervisors and global mobility managers should revert to a more coaching style that encourages their assignees and other staff to open up about current workplace situations and challenges.

Conflicts can be threshed out, and difficulties can be addressed and remediated. The assignees who are given a chance to voice out their opinions can also be given tasks that will make them a solution to the current challenges. As a result, their sense of ownership will increase, and they will have more initiative to contribute to the company.

Update outmoded policies and programs and make them more relevant

Thrive Global advocates regularly examining current company rules, regulations, and other elements that contribute to the overall corporate culture.

This is where both HR and global mobility managers can take the lead. Sometimes, the old command-and-control construct is maintained simply because of neglect, and all it takes is one open meeting with both leaders and talents to get the executive management to have them changed.

Regular re-examination of the current processes can also remove counterproductive systems and replace them with more liberating ones. One obvious example:  a more flexible, tech-assisted work lifestyle that encourages telecommuting, as opposed to a by-the-numbers reporting structure that compels the staff to report back to work after outside all-day meetings.

Improve, have more open communication system

According to Hubstaff, this is not just to prevent things from falling into cracks, but it can also strengthen the bond between global mobility managers and assignees, and supervisors and staff.

A more open communication system can also be the follow-up to the coaching style recommended above. Staff and assignees can give their input, while leaders and supervisors in turn can provide quick feedback.

The ongoing dialogue can fix issues and neutralize any conflicts and disagreements and with them, feelings of resentment and powerlessness. The resultant trust will act as a deterrent against any build-up of corporate toxicity. Staff and assignees will feel motivated in coming to work and delivering their optimal performance.