The engaging manager and sticky situations

Robinson D | Engaging Manager Report Series 493 | Institute for Employment Studies | Jan 2014

cover image

This report is part of The Engaging Manager Series, which is a follow-up to IES report 470, The Engaging Manager. Each short report in the Engaging Manager Series explores different aspects of engaging management.

This report explores how engaging managers deal with difficult situations at work - situations which most managers dread and hope will never happen. These include managing poor performance, tackling unacceptable behaviour, and breaking bad news to individuals or the team.

Our research revealed that engaging managers are particularly good at dealing with such knotty problems. They tackle them quickly rather than letting things fester, and work hard to identify the causes and support people to improve.

Their engaging, coaching style often succeeds - but if all their efforts fail, they do not fight shy of taking people through formal procedures, including dismissal if necessary.

Typically, their teams appreciate this firm stance and are pleased that under-performers and disruptive people are tackled authoritatively. The report ends by offering practical, evidence-based guidance to managers about the best way to approach 'sticky situations'.