What management style do you use? Autocratic Style (Part 2)

Autocratic Style

Having a management style is an inherent part of being a leader, knowing what your style is and how to use it for the benefit of your team makes you a better leader. When you can recognise what style you gravitate to naturally and how and when to shift gears to another style, it will help your team to be more productive, boost workplace morale and improve staff retention rates. This seven-part series is a look at some of the styles of management common in workplaces, how they can be best used and when, and how employees respond in general to each of the styles of management.

Autocratic Style

  • Direct orders given to employees
  • No questions asked approach to management
  • Best used in times of crisis which require fast, coordinated solutions

This style of management is a rigid and focused approach. Employees are expected to follow directives without feedback, are expected to follow strict discipline standards and are ruled by fear. There is no room for discussion or creativity and employees are micromanaged.

Employees are expected to follow orders, do their job as it is set and not question the decisions of management. This style can lead to stagnation of a business, as critical analysis is not used to improve the application of work. In the long term, this autocratic style of management isolates employees from management and can cause people to feel undervalued as they are not considered or heard.

This style of leadership does not work for new businesses or those with highly skilled or highly qualified staff. For a new business, this style does not offer staff the chance to grow and develop. It does not allow for employees to help the business to discover best practices and organic methods of approach to task completion and distribution. For skilled and established workers, this style is stifling. Such employees have worked hard to develop their skills, and being micromanaged creates resentment. In both cases, it is likely that this approach, if used long term, would see valuable employees leave the company.

Where this style of management is valuable is in a crisis. Used in the short term, having a very focused and direct approach to task completion can see a business through a difficult situation. This style is used in emergency situations, such as natural disaster relief efforts, when managers need tasks to be completed in critical time frames and without diversion from the end goal.

In our next blog, we discuss the Consultative style of leadership, when this can discourage employees and when it can be useful for your business.