Cookie Cutter Management Doesn’t Work: How The Predictive Index Can Help.

By: Mike Kuenzi


There are a lot of different management styles and, quite often, their degree of success or failure is based upon the people that are being managed. Unfortunately, too many managers find a style that they’re comfortable with and never deviate. This does a disservice to the manager, the people on staff, and the company as a whole.

Having a “one style fits all” approach to managing a team can be more detrimental than you think. In fact, Deloitte states that $160 billion is lost annually due to employee turnover. Equally shocking, according to Unplugged Influence, disengaged managers cost the U.S. $90 billion per year.

Management Techniques to Avoid

Here are a few management pitfalls that can lead to disengagement, higher turnover, and recruiters scrambling to fill open positions.

Treating everyone the same.

Everyone should be treated the same, right? Wrong. While everyone should be shown that they have the same respect and value as their co-workers, they may not respond to being treated the same because they have different personalities and different objectives. A good manager learns what makes their employees tick. A great manager leverages a strong assessment tool to better understand their employees and communicate in the most effective way on an individual basis.

Using the same communication modes.

Zipping an email out to the team is the most efficient way for a manager to communicate. Don’t click the ‘Send’ button, yet. It might be the easiest, but it’s far from the most effective. We all know that person who never seems to get to their emails and when they do, they appear to only read part of it. We also know people who fear being called into the office to talk in person because it feels like being called to the principal’s office. Everyone has preferences regarding the best mode of communication. Knowing how to talk to people makes a big difference in what they absorb.

Manage based on assumptions.

You always treat people how you want to be treated, right? Not exactly. In life, and especially in business, you should treat people how THEY want to be treated. What inspires you might not be what gets them going in the morning. Don’t assume that all employees are just like you. From the very beginning, using assessments for hiring gives you insight on how to motivate new hires and how to keep them engaged throughout their employment.

Hiring to fit a management mold.

If you hire likeminded people, then they’ll get along and you can manage them in the same way. This thought process can be pretty accurate, but you’re missing out on so many unique attributes and strengths that different people can bring to your company. Never hire to fit a manager, hire to fit the position and manage to highlight what the employee can bring to that position.

Everybody’s buddy.

If everyone gets along then your employees are going to be happy and stay. I wish it was that easy. The friend approach to management eventually breaks down and falls apart because objectivity is lost, honest communication is compromised, and boundaries get crossed. Instead of being a buddy, let your staff know that you’ll be honest with them, you’ll listen to feedback, that you support them, and that you’re committed to their personal career growth goals.

Annual reviews.

You need an annual review to stay on track, right? You’re one-quarter correct. This is something we see all the time and it’s why we strongly encourage more frequent reviews, quarterly being ideal. Let’s say you do your reviews in January, but you have an employee who develops a problem in March. By the time their next review comes along, they’ve been disengaged so long that they’ve left the company or are performing way under potential. Let this sink in: Fifty-two percent of voluntarily exiting employees say their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job. (Gallup)

At Titus Talent Strategies, we use The Predictive Index (PI) to increase employee engagement, job fit/satisfaction, and retention. It’s so important to note that PI is not a personality test, but rather a behavioral assessment that looks at people’s natural tendencies and drives.

When using PI, we are careful not to look at profiles and make judgment calls on these people based on similar profiles in our organization.  This impartiality allows us to manage people based on how they act, their communication preferences, comfortability with risk, how they connect with people/interaction-style, and desire (or lack thereof) for rules and structure. Approaching our team this way helps us create management plans that are unique and individually tailored to the strengths of each person.  Using an approach that is geared to individuals rather than a group leads to greater engagement and retention.

If you’re interested in learning how to manage your team toward better engagement and retention – connect with us – we’d love to show you how we do it.



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