Line managers play an important function within corporate situations. Without proper guidance, it would not automatically be the case that employees would follow the direction that a company would expect them to follow.
So, what is a line manager? We shall look to define one and explore just what their function is within a corporate situation.
Definition of a Line Manager
A line manager is responsible directly for particular employees. They will be the first point of contact for that person should they have any concerns or need extra guidance. It is for the line manager to coordinate the work within their section.
Line managers will be heavily involved in the running of the business. This will include the main activities associated with the company. They are not simply someone in charge and a figurehead or someone who appears when there is trouble, they will get themselves involved in making sure that everything runs as efficiently as it should. They are a day-to-day manager in that respect.
What Line Managers Will Get Involved With
The line manager will be present on many tasks to ensure the smooth running of them and the company that they work for. Such an individual will:
- Communicate the company objects.
- Provide a timely performance report.
- Be the lead for group meetings and one-to-ones to do with overall and individual performances.
- Identify skill gaps and the areas where staff need extra training, and then make the arrangements.
- Conduct interviews for new staff and deal with any staff issues.
- Be a mentor for members of staff that need to have their skills developed further.
The position of line manager carries a lot of responsibility. It is the mid-point between the workers managed and managers giving instructions at a higher level. It will be for the line manager to report on whether objectives are being met and to the required standard. If not, they will need to look at their staff and see where things might be going wrong. In other words, the strategies put in place may need to be revised.
Staff will not perform to their best when they do not feel motivated. It is for the line manager to maintain high levels of motivation so that productivity is never hampered.
The different ways staff can be motivated might include:
- Meeting up with employees regularly to listen to their concerns and suggestions.
- Giving staff as much time as they need.
- Being specific, clear, and constructive about feedback.
- Creating an environment that is fun, open, and trusting, yet still professional.
Thinking about the above, we can start to get the picture of just what the role of line manager entails. It is not the easiest role in the world to perform, so current skills are going to be important along with a desire to train to reach the level needed to effectively manage staff.
Training courses will mean that skills can be shared that have worked in other environments. You might say that the role of all managers is a similar one. This is true, in part, but you also need to consider the environment that is being managed.
Some staff will require more motivation than others, and that is not necessary because of their character but also because of the monotony of the environment that they are working in. It is for line managers to inspire workers and keep them interested and motivated.
Corporate line managers have a harder job in that there are likely to be more staff to manage, even within a relatively small section. To help managers there are courses and also those working around them who support each other, no matter what their position is within the company.