There are several different types of management styles at work, and they all have their unique ways of leading and motivating a team. New ones appear frequently. Every management style has advantages and disadvantages. Also, the relative importance of each is determined by the nature of the manager in question and the group they supervise. “Most of the time, it comes down to deciding which is most suited to getting the most out of the team by capitalizing on its strengths and minimizing its weaknesses,” says James Dyble, managing director of Global Sound Group.
“In my experience, the individual leader has much to do with what management style is used and works best for the workplace. Other contributing factors might be the industry, the team size, and whether they’re remote/dispersed or in-person, says Grace Baena, Director of Brand of Kaiyo. Some common ones include:
Management Styles at Work: Autocratic
This style is all about the manager being in control and making all the decisions. Employees are expected to follow orders without question. This can be effective when there’s no time for discussion or collaboration. “In an autocratic management style, the manager makes all the decisions and delegates tasks to team members without considering their input or opinions. This style can be effective when time is of the essence, and quick decision-making is required, but it can also be seen as overly controlling. It may not be well-suited to younger, more independent workers,” says Ben Walker, owner of Ditto Transcript.
Management Styles at Work: Participative
This style involves getting input from the team on decisions. The manager still has the final say, but they’re open to hearing ideas and suggestions from the team. This can be effective when the team has a lot of expertise, and there’s a need for innovation. Participative management is a team-based approach where the manager and team work together to make decisions. This style is often used when dealing with complex projects or teams of diverse backgrounds.
Management Styles at Work: Laissez-faire
This style involves the manager being hands-off and letting the team make their own decisions and set their own goals. The manager provides support when needed but mostly stays out of it. This can be effective when the team has a lot of skill and experience, and there’s a need for autonomy. “The laissez-faire style is characterized by a lack of control and direction from the manager. Employees are given a high level of autonomy and are expected to make their own decisions. This style is often used when employees are highly skilled and experienced, such as in a research and development lab,” says Yusaf Khan, Head of Business Development at Startups Anonymous.
Management Styles at Work: Democratic
“This management style takes a more participatory approach. Leaders include others in the decision-making process,” says Jay Bats, co-founder and developer of ContentBASE. Leaders with a democratic management style value collaboration. They always ensure to involve their people in the planning and decision-making process. Employee feedback is given the utmost importance. There is two-way communication between managers and employees. But the ultimate decision is always in the hands of the manager. The democratic management style creates a collaborative environment. This is because communication is the central element here. Companies that have such a management style often have more team cohesiveness. Creativity and innovation are always high in such workplaces.
Management Styles at Work: Transformational
This style focuses on inspiring and motivating the team to achieve its goals. “The manager provides a clear vision and direction and encourages collaboration and innovation. This can be effective when there’s a need for change and growth within the team,” says Adam Sherman, founder of Viakix.
Management Styles at Work: Authoritarian
Authoritarian leaders like to maintain total control over their people. They tend to micromanage and often make decisions without consulting with their team.
Management Styles at Work: Transactional
Transactional leaders make use of rewards and punishments to keep their team motivated. These leaders rely heavily on structures and systems to maintain good employee performance and reach targets.
Management Styles at Work: Delegative
The delegation management style is a very hands-off way of leading people. Those with this management style give their employees a lot of freedom and autonomy to make decisions and perform their tasks. This style is often used when the team has a high degree of technical knowledge and expertise.
Management Styles at Work: Visionary
Visionary leaders focus on communicating the organization’s vision to employees to keep them inspired and in the same direction. These kinds of leaders also allow their team freedom but make sure to check in from time to time.
Management Styles at Work: Consultative
“This management style involves more collaboration with employees than autocratic management styles. Managers will solicit feedback and input through regular and meaningful conversations before making decisions. This style is less rigid than an autocratic one but still provides guidance and an often necessary employee structure. This management style can increase motivation, positive morale, and better decision-making,” says Rahul Vij, CEO of WebSpero Solutions. Consultative management is a middle-ground approach that balances authority between the manager and the team. This style involves gathering input from the team and making decisions based on that information. It is most often used by younger managers who are still learning the ropes.
Management Styles at Work: Servant
“They are always checking on what they can do to help employees and provide a lot of support. Most Servant leaders expect a lot in return and are also very results-based,” says David W. Craig, founding partner at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC.
Management Styles at Work: Paternalistic
The paternalistic management style is based on taking care of the employees and providing them with support and guidance. This type of style works best when team members need to be motivated, nurtured, and supported for them to work effectively,” says Joshua Haley, founder of Moving Astute.
Management Styles at Work: Collaborative
“One type of management style is the collaborative management style. In this style, leadership focuses on the collaboration between team members the most. An open forum gets created where everyone can share and discuss their ideas. Then, the decision gets taken choosing the majority opinion. The staff has the charge to take the right of consequences. Collaborative management leads to an upsurge in innovation, engagement, and creativity. It also increases the trust between employees and managers. The staff gets inspired to put their best into their work as their ideas get recognized. As a result, employee turnover also decreases,” says Michael Woods, office manager at Uniwide Formations.
It’s worth noting that these styles can be more or less effective depending on age, demographics, and other factors. For example, an autocratic style may be better with younger employees who need more direction, while a participative style may be better with older employees with more experience. A transformational style may be better with a diverse team because it encourages collaboration and inclusivity. Ultimately, the best management style will depend on the team and organization’s unique needs and goals.