Are You a Good Manager? Find Out Here

Managing talent is a vital responsibility in any organisation. Managers are expected to get the most out of their employees and ensure a productive work environment. A good manager is typically someone who is able to think critically, solve problems, and inspire others. 

A 2021 study by Microsoft, however, found that many managers are out of touch with their employees, with 61% of managers thriving while 37% of employees struggle to keep up with tasks. 

Companies can experience a high turnover rate when employees feel disconnected from their managers. This is exemplified by a Randstad study, which discovered that 30% of Malaysians intended to change jobs, with a top motivating factor being the desire for good management.

You have the opportunity to change those statistics by pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Sunway University Online. Learn how to become a modern business leader who understands which management style best suits you and your organisation, while fulfilling the growing demands of both employers and employees. 

What are Management Styles? 

Management styles refer to the types of leadership methods that managers use to run a company and its people. Each style is relative to personal preferences, expectations, and goals. 

As a manager, you are responsible for the work of your team. By understanding what makes a good manager, you can support your team while making decisions based on the needs of the company. 

There are many ways you can manage your team members, with each approach having its own positives and negatives:

Autocratic Management Styles 

Autocratic management styles have rules and regulations that are not necessarily present in other management styles. They give the leader full autonomy to make decisions, in order to maintain a controlled working environment. 

Despite this management style being the least preferred among employees, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, is a globally successful entrepreneur known to use this method. As an autocratic leader, he regularly oversees and micromanages his employees to ensure high productivity and the quality of products. 

1. Authoritative management style

This is an approach that encourages employees to follow long-established policies and procedures. Managers who practise this style of leadership often have detailed knowledge of what to do and how to do it. From the start, employees understand what their duties are, why they must carry them out, and their expected performance measures.



Decisions can be made instantly

Employees tend to resent managers who practise this leadership style

Less confusion as employees are given specific instructions

Creativity and innovation are stifled


Increased productivity under supervision

Increased likelihood of a high turnover rate


2. Persuasive management style

Persuasive managers motivate their employees to achieve their objectives by encouraging and leading them with supervision and direction. This leadership style allows a manager to be both empowering and demanding, without hostility from employees. 



Employees are accepting of decisions made without their input

Difficult to discover better methods to complete a task

Increased trust between employees and managers

Limits feedback from employees


Quick and easy decision-making

Employees aren’t able to grow their skills and enhance their knowledge


3. Paternalistic management style 

This top-down approach sees managers assuming responsibility for an employee's success and welfare. It stems from the act of paternalism, which is often described as limiting an individual’s autonomy for their own good. However, in this case, paternalism refers to shielding employees from risk, failure or reality.



Decisions are made based on employee welfare

Managers could be viewed as patronising or condescending

Upskilling of employees is encouraged and valued

Employees might become too dependant on managers, resulting in inability to make independent decisions

The rationale behind each decision is explained to employees

Could incite feelings of disgruntlement as employees are not given a say in decision-making


Democratic Management Styles

Democratic management styles depend heavily on the input and participation of employees, peers, and the community, to develop plans based on their needs. It’s a bottom-up approach where employees are able to influence managers, with decisions made based on consensus. 

Take Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, as an example. He is known as a democratic leader who realises his own limitations and often seeks employee input in developing strategies to better business performance. 

1. Consultative management style

Consultative management is a style of leadership that focuses on consensus-building, shared goals, and opportunities for employee input. While decision-making authority still lies with the manager, employees are given the chance to consult and recommend what they think is best to improve business performance. 



Promotes trust between employees and managers, and within departments

Problems may arise if managers practise favouritism

Managers and employees are able to grow the business together

Employees might start to lose respect for managers, who get higher pay despite consulting employees when it comes to making decisions

Enhanced problem-solving as managers turn to employees for help and vice versa

Time-consuming as managers would consult employees before making a decision


2. Participative management style

This management style gives employees the freedom to make decisions on their own. It’s a great way to encourage creativity, innovation, and teamwork within an organisation, allowing employees to contribute to meaningful and significant tasks. 



Increased productivity as employees feel respected and valued by managers

Decision-making takes longer as more people are consulted

Encourages employees to have a growth mindset

Potential conflicts among team members as one employee might outshine others

Develops critical-thinking skills among employees

Risk of data breaches as employees are given access to sensitive information


3. Collaborative management style

As the name suggests, this leadership style allows employees to collaborate with each other and their leaders. It encourages frequent communication between managers and employees pertinent to organisational development, ultimately creating a culture that is open, transparent, and honest.



Employees are motivated to perform better

Employees might become disgruntled when their ideas are not used

Workplace conflicts are solved quickly

Time-consuming as there are many layers of ideation and approval

Lower turnover as employees are engaged in the job

In-house promotion might lead to internal conflict


4. Transformational management style

Transformational management is a leadership style based on the needs of the people in an organisation. This style of management focuses on improving the well-being of employees by honouring their values, fulfilling their needs, and developing mature leaders. 



Employees are more confident in their decisions

Employees might resign to pursue other endeavours

Employees are able to adapt to changes and disruptions

Could potentially cause employees to burn out as there is a constant need to be creative and innovative

Increased creativity and innovation among employees

Employees might be bombarded with work, resulting in an unhealthy work-life balance


5. Coaching management style

In this style of management, managers are able to develop a strong working relationship with their employees by providing support and helping them meet or exceed expectations. Managers who practise this approach offer advice and coach employees through their learning and development. 



Increased employee engagement

Long-term development that might overlook short-term projects

Employees produce better work

The work produced is only as good as the manager’s coaching skills, which take time to develop

More opportunities for employee upskilling

Employees might not want to step out of their comfort zone


Laissez-Faire Management Styles

Laissez-faire management styles are practised by managers who allow employees to take on tasks and responsibilities according to their skill set. This creates a safe environment for workers to experiment with new ideas and challenge themselves to improve their skills. 

A famous example of a leader who implemented this management style is the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. He believed in hiring experts who could tell him what to do to improve the company’s products and services. 

1. Delegative management style

This leadership style entails delegating certain tasks and responsibilities to employees. By doing so, employees are given more freedom in their work as they are trusted to make decisions.



Fosters innovation and creativity among employees

Potential decrease in productivity as employees work without guidance

Promotes teamwork and cultivates problem-solving skills

Departments may suffer from a lack of direction, resulting in increased workloads

Higher rate of job satisfaction among employees

Employees might resent managers for receiving higher salaries while delegating decision-making to lower-level employees


2. Visionary management style

Visionary managers are leaders who focus on building an organisation based on their vision. They aim to create a culture that supports this vision and, in return, employees are given the freedom to work as they see fit with minimal supervision. 



Decreases turnover rates as employees are satisfied with the job and company

Some managers lack the means to inspire employees to do better

Problems are easily overcome as employees possess adequate problem-solving skills

Focusing solely on the manager’s vision might result in new and improved ideas being overlooked

Employees produce better work as they aim to achieve the organisation’s goals

Failure to communicate the vision clearly will result in low-quality work


Managing in the Digital Age 

The pandemic changed how employees and businesses approach productivity, especially when it comes to working from home. A study by Jobstreet in 2021 found that the work-from-home culture is popular among employees from all generations — baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z — with more than 60% of respondents across these generations giving it a positive reception.

Similarly, a 2021 McKinsey study found that 52% of employees prefer flexible work arrangements. This could result in better performance as they are given more autonomy to carry out tasks and make decisions. Hence, it can be concluded that a blended management approach that incorporates laissez-faire management styles is best suited for remote working arrangements.

What Kind of Manager are You?

Knowing what kind of manager you are is of utmost importance. Sunway University Online’s Master of Business Administration offers a treasure trove of subjects, including People and Organisations, and Leading in the Age of Digital Disruption, that can transform you into a modern business leader with all the right skills. 

Learn the ropes of management at Sunway University Online. Schedule a 15-minute call with our Education Counsellors today!