If You Dont Like How You Are Being Managed Make Suggestions - Administration
As a manager in charge of technical professionals, I have learned that managing projects with multiple team members requires certain people skills, as well as technical skills. In the world of management, there are many skills required when it comes to the management of people. These skills, and how you apply them, vary depending on the type of business you are in, as well as the type of people whom you manage.
Iím sure youíve been there. You are working for the manager from hell. He has all these requirements, and all these rules. You feel as if you are working in a concentration camp. This is not what you signed up for, and you are very unhappy working in these conditions. Your productivity is suffering because you lack the motivation to do your job effectively.
Iím sure that you know that your managers can tell when their employees are not happy in their environment. Believe it or not, they sometimes donít have any idea exactly what it is that makes the employees unhappy.
One manager I once had didnít seem to have any respect for developers. He wanted work to begin at 8:30 sharp, break for lunch at 12:00, and resume again from 1:00 until 5:30. During the day you were permitted a couple of 5-minute breaks, and of course the obligatory trips to the restroom. It was like working on a chain gang. The whole team dreaded coming to work and operating under the always watching eye of big brother.
Well, this manager could tell that the team was unhappy, so he sent out a questionnaire to his people, asking for suggestions on what we could do to improve the working environment. Know how many responses he got from the 19 people on the team? None. Not a single reply. Everyone was convinced that if they responded it would be used against them for being the only person to speak out. It was a trick. But in retrospect, what were we afraid of?
It was a couple weeks after the questionnaire went out when I found out that nobody had responded to it. I was in the managerís office being lectured about being 10 minutes late to work. He expected my full 8 hours of work and was very disappointed at my tardiness. In exasperation, I asked him if he even understood what it was that we, as developers did. I think this took him aback, because he sat back and asked me if I would explain it to him. I talked about the nature of developing software, about how it was a creative process as well as a mechanical process. When I was done with my explanation, he asked me how I thought he could better manage the team. I told him that we were are professionals, and felt that we were being treated like children with his bean counting methods. I suggested that we be managed by our work being completed, rather than the number of minutes we sat in front of the computer each day. He agreed to give it a shot, and it worked out beautifully.
So basically, if you have a suggestion that you think will make your working environment more productive, donít be afraid to voice it. That is, of course, so long as your request is within reason.