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5 Types of Management Styles: Which One’s Better?

All companies have a different culture. This is why it’s so important to understand the types of management styles and know when each one should be implemented within your business. Discover which style works best for you, how to implement them effectively, and more.
Published 1 Aug 2019
Updated 19 Oct 2022
5 min read
Management Styles: Which Type Are You?

Management styles are very important for a business. It’s one of the most important decisions a company can make, yet 8 out of 10 times companies choose the wrong manager. That doesn’t seem right to us.

It’s easy to assume that those managers just weren’t cut out to be in a management position, but a four-year study conducted by Leadership IQ found that wasn’t the case. The study shows that in more cases than none, it was the management style being inappropriate for that particular company culture.

Why is finding the right management style important?

Different projects, teams, tasks, and businesses need different management styles, and if, as a manager, you can’t adapt to the needs of your position and company, then you’re doomed to fail.

What’s worse, not being the right fit as a manager can lead to disengagement across your team, and when a team isn’t engaged, that results in:

  • πŸ“‰ Lower productivity
  • πŸ‘Ž Poorer quality of work
  • πŸ‘‹ Dramatically increased staff turnover
  • πŸšͺIssues with absenteeism
  • πŸ’Έ Reduced profitability across the business

In worst-case scenarios, having the wrong management style in your business can de-motivate employees, kill productivity, and ultimately causes reduced employee engagement. Then, you’ll notice highly skilled employees starting to leave your business. And no one wants that.

Luckily for you, Employment Hero is here to help.

The different types of management styles

We’ve listed some of the top types of management styles, including the pros and cons of each and when each one is most effective.

So you can work out which one you are and if that’s right for your team and business.

1. Autocratic management style

The autocratic management style is an authoritative style that essentially means managing through clear direction and control.

Autocratic managers typically assert strong authority within their team, have total decision-making power, and expect unquestioned obedience from their team members.authoritative boss

To be an effective autocratic manager, you need to be willing and able to consistently stay up-to-date on your team’s work and to make any and all decisions.

Pros:

  • The autocratic management style has been shown to positively affect employee performance
  • This type of management style has a great impact on company cultures that have a high power distance, where employees expect higher-level people to have more power and tend to automatically defer to those in higher positions
  • This leadership style is particularly effective if you have new or inexperienced employees who need a lot of guidance and instruction

Cons:

  • If taken to the extreme, an authoritarian style can easily create a negative workspace. If you try to hold on to control too tightly, it can lead to micromanagement, which will drive away your best employees
  • Maintaining total control of all decision-making can also require a great deal of time and effort on the manager’s part

2. Democratic management style

Democratic management styles are based on the philosophy that two heads are better than one and that everyone deserves to have a say, no matter what their position or title within the business.Democratic manager

A manager who adopts this style tends to encourage idea-sharing and regular employee participation across their team.

It is a collaborative management style that places focus on encouraging your team to share their thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and potential solutions in order to help each other and the company grow.

Pros:

  • A democratic leadership style helps your employees feel valued and heard.
  • It encourages team members to solve their own problems and come up with creative solutions and new ideas.
  • You’re encouraging your team members to think for themselves and to take on more responsibility for team decisions and outcomes – which in turn helps with their personal and professional growth.
  • You can arrive at better solutions and achieve greater results than if you’re making decisions in isolation.

Cons:

  • It takes time, especially if you’re in a scenario where key business decisions need to be made quickly; you might not have time to seek out and consider the suggestions of every team member
  • Employees can become frustrated or resentful if they feel like you’re not truly taking their ideas into consideration – or if you favour one team member’s insights more than theirs

3. Persuasive management style

Next, we have persuasive leaders, who are the types of managers that maintain the final decision-making control. However, they make these choices based on the persuasion of their team.

Employees will convince their manager of the benefits of a decision, but at the end of the day, the manager will make the final call.

Pros:

  • You have the ability to make quick decisions without the need to consult the whole team
  • There is no confusion regarding team hierarchy or decision-making processes
  • You have creative and professional freedom, but your team can still have an input – making them feel like their insights are valued
  • This is a great option for managers who need input from experts and who can acknowledge where their skills may lack

Cons:

  • This management style doesn’t work when employees do not support the manager. For example, if they choose not to provide input or do not trust decisions that have been made
  • If the plan fails, the blame is all on you as the final decision-maker
  • You are seen as the bona fide expert for everything, which can be a lot of pressure for some people!

4. Participative management style

Managers with participative leadership styles trust their employees. This is similar to the persuasive management style, but managers not only seek out the opinions and ideas of their team – but they trust and act on them.Participative manager

They work together with their team to make decisions as a group, and the staff is highly involved.

Pros:

  • Employees feel valued and show increased motivation and productivity because they have a say in the decision-making process – meaning added responsibility and an urge to take charge
  • Employees feel a great sense of job satisfaction because they see that their suggestions are being implemented
  • Can improve the quality of work as employees feel more passionate about ideas they have suggested themselves

Cons:

  • Some employees do not want to be involved in decision-making and can come to resent a manager with this style
  • Decision-making slows down as there’s more participation and people involved in the process

5. Delegative management style

A delegative management style allows employees to take full responsibility of their work areas. The manager will assign tasks to employees with little or no direction and expects the staff to achieve results on their own accord.

Pros:

  • This management style highlights the expertise of the whole team and helps employees feel highly motivated and capable of independent work
  • You can rely on the experiences of your employees if a certain topic isn’t your exact expertise
  • It helps engage employees and creates workplace satisfaction
  • You can play on and use your own skills strategically

Cons:

  • This type of management style can lead to a lack of uniformity among team members, as everyone is working on individual projects that have been delegated to them
  • In turn, this can lead to uncoordinated efforts toward productivity

Which is the most effective management style?

As you can see, there are a fair few management styles out there – each with its own pros and cons.

Picking effective management styles will depend on your current corporate culture, individual preferences of leadership styles within different teams, and other internal factors.

We suggest really having a think about how you manage your team. One of the best ways to understand where you currently stand is to ask your employees. Encourage employees to provide honest and open feedback on how you manage them.

You might be surprised to learn things about yourself that you didn’t know before. Or find out things that your team don’t appreciate that you can easily change.

Want more?

Think you’ve got bad managers affecting your business? Download our insightful whitepaper for some tips and tricks to coach them into a great one.

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