As many small businesses in Canada veer toward a more open approach to management that gives employees more freedom, autocratic management still has a place in many arenas. With this type of management, employees look to a single leader for guidance, and you can implement this approach throughout your entire organization or on a project-by-project basis. Small businesses in particular thrive in these sorts of settings due to their structure and limited number of employees. While many consider this form of management a thing of the past, benefits still exist if you’re willing take the reins.
1.) Quick, Clear-Cut Decision Making
While giving employees leeway on the small things can keep things moving, big decisions are best left to those with the most at risk. In work settings where change is constant and competition is fierce, this becomes even more apparent if you want to keep up with customer demand. Autocratic leaders can prevent stalling, checking, and double-checking by making quick, clear-cut decisions without wasting valuable time seeking input. But to make this work, you need to understand each portion of the process so you don’t give individual employees too much or too little responsibility.
2) Streamlined Work Flow
Streamlining how work moves through your company not only ensures quick turnaround times, it also reduces expensive layers of bureaucracy and cuts down on the need for middle management. By interacting directly with employees to see what they do and how they do it, you can analyse and polish processes so that work moves from point A to point G quickly and efficiently. When employees have clear guidance on what to do in most any situation that occurs during their workdays, they spend less time fussing over the small things. When taking a top-down management approach, be sure to pay close attention to detail so you can get things back on track fast if some aspect goes even a little sideways.
3) Improved Accountability
Autonomy in the workplace often provides employees with ready excuses to play the blame game when they don’t meet expectations. Autocratic management reduces this issue by improving both employee and management accountability. With clear-cut rules and processes in place, failure to follow that approach or notice when it happens falls squarely on the shoulders of the one at fault. While this can stress out people who prefer a team-based approach, it actually improves the productivity and efficiency of those who prefer to control their own destinies.
4) Increased Productivity
Because of decreased layers of management and bureaucracy, autocratic management can help move your processes along quickly. Clear decisions, streamlined work flow, and improved accountability all work together to ensure employees pay more attention to what they’re doing instead of worrying over just how to accomplish their set tasks. This can help make missed deadlines a thing of the past, and since you’re taking more control of your operation, your employees can keep on with business as usual during stressful times and let you do the worrying for them.
While some find autocratic management styles stifling or overbearing, many employees thrive in a setting where they know just what to do and how to do it. But this doesn’t mean you should ignore employee suggestions, quite the contrary. Good leadership requires two-way input and respect. By listening to employees’ concerns in a safe, open space while ultimately controlling how your company as a whole completes its mission, you can build your small business with happy employees and a well-padded bottom line.