The real reason your employees may leave you this year
Management Style

The real reason your employees may leave you this year
What does the Situational Leadership Model teach managers?

Management Style – an important target for improving staff retention

What’s Pete like to work for? An innocuous question such as this may elicit a range of responses somewhere between heaven and hell. If you were Pete, what would you hope they would say about you, and what do you realistically feel they would actually say? Is there a gap?

Many team leaders and managers have not given a lot of thought to the type of leader/boss they aspire to be.

What are the options?

Here’s a quick list of possible traits;


For most managers, indeed for most employees, there are obvious “must haves”.

If we know what we aspire to be like as people, employees and managers, and we have the self-awareness to understand how our actions are perceived by others, we can create for ourselves, an ideal persona. We can work towards demonstrating the characteristics and attributes that will create the labels we wish people to attach to us. It may take time, but wouldn’t you feel, and fare, significantly better being viewed by your peers, superiors and subordinates as competent, resourceful and trustworthy, as opposed to moody, obsessive and inconsiderate.

The SHAPE Survey assesses Management Style using the Situational Leadership Model.

Situational Leadership Model

This model, which has been widely used in the business world since it’s development in the mid 1970s, moved away from the idea of an overarching leadership style, instead favouring an adaptive style which takes into account the competencies of the employee being managed.

The fundamental principle of the Situational Leadership Model is that there is no single "best" style of leadership. Effective leadership is task-relevant, and the most successful leaders are those who adapt their leadership style to the performance readiness (ability and willingness) of the individual or group they are attempting to lead or influence. Effective leadership varies, not only with the person or group that is being influenced, but also with the task, job, or function that needs to be accomplished__¹__.

The management “styles” included in the model range from directing to coaching to supporting to delegating. Which style a manager adopts should depend on the capabilities of the employee. Highly competent employees generally respond better to delegation and outcome focus – tell them what outcomes you want and let them determine the best way of achieving it. On the other hand, novice employees need direction. So the focus becomes more related to process than outcome.

The manager who fails to understand this will often end up micro-managing competent employees, which they will find incredibly frustrating, or conversely, providing inadequate guidance to novice employees who will often feel vulnerable through lack of support during the early stages of their knowledge/skill development.

__¹__Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. H. 1977. Management of Organizational Behavior 3rd Edition.

Management Style