A manager needs to be an effective negotiator. When organizations are developing or undergoing change, the manager is often required to negotiate with competitors, contractors, suppliers, and employees.
A manager must be a good figurehead who reinforces the mission and vision of an organization to employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
A manager needs to be an effective communicator and liaison between employees, customers, and other managers of the organization.
A leader is thought to differ from a manager in that a leader's intention is to inspire and motivate while a manager's role is focused more on organization and planning.
Managers play an integral part in an organization's growth and evolution. Organizational growth is a complex process, particularly in larger organizations with more inertia. Organizations are essentially a compilation of moving parts: motivating each individual, with her/his unique talents and motivation, to change direction simultaneously (and in the same direction) is extremely challenging, and requires highly effective managers with highly developed communication skills.
Managers must do more than accept change: they must facilitate the evolutionary process. In these situations, organizations need a manager who can fulfill several roles, including leader, negotiator, figurehead, and communicator. In each of these roles, the manager's goal is to help employees through the change with the least possible number of conflicts and issues.
The Role of a Manager during Organizational Change
To effectively implement change, a manager needs to be a good leader. The manager must organize and plan the change and use leadership skills to inspire employees to embrace it. This is a complex and intangible skill, one which incorporates each of the roles listed below as well. Leadership is a broad term that incorporates communicating and inspiring those around you to embrace a perspective.
A negotiator is similar to a leader. When organizations are developing or undergoing change, the manager is often required to negotiate clearly and steadfastly with competitors, contractors, suppliers, and employees. A manager needs to be able to negotiate with all of these parties in a way that effectively serves the best interests of the organization.
A manager also needs to act as a figurehead of the organization. Upper management in particular is responsible for creating and reinforcing delivery of the mission and vision of an organization to employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Employees in particular must understand where the organization is headed and what its ultimate goals are. A manager-figurehead can come to symbolize the organization as a whole for customers. The manager who builds a positive rapport with both customers and employees creates a positive association of her/himself with the organization at large.
Liaison and Communicator
When managers effectively communicate their vision for the organization, employees are more likely to engage with their work and exert themselves to further the organizational mission. Communication is at the core of managing change effectively. Transparency and empathy are integral to making employees aware of and comfortable with the changes taking place. Managers in an evolving organization must stay in constant contact with their direct reports to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that all stakeholders are educated and on board.