Management vs. Leadership: What’s the Difference? | Southern California Staffing

While the terms are often used interchangeably, leadership and management are not the same thing. The differences are sometimes subtle, but recognizing the distinctions can help those in senior positions gain a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

It’s also important to define these terms because in today’s competitive business environment, the people who work for you can no longer be viewed as cogs in the machine. Human resources are the most important asset for any company, and managers must strive to become better leaders in order to cultivate those essential resources.

What sets managers and leaders apart

Leadership and management go hand in hand, but the terms carry slightly different meanings. Where management is concerned with organization and planning, the role of leadership is to motivate and inspire. Specifically, here’s where they differ:

Focus. The drivers for management’s actions tend to be focused on operations. Managers are concerned with systems and structures. They work to maintain the status quo and keep things running smoothly, with an eye toward the company’s bottom line.

By contrast, leaders focus on people. Instead of maintaining current conditions, they work to develop the environment and inspire employees to concern themselves with systems, structures, and profitability. Leaders look toward the future of the company.

Implementation. Much of a manager’s working methodology centers around administration and control. They operate within the existing framework of the company, carrying out procedures that have already achieved proven results. Leaders may use existing protocols, but their actions are often built on innovation and inspiring trust from their teams.

Viewpoint. The function of a manager is not necessarily as callous and calculating as it sounds. Managers must meet certain targets, and most of their actions are colored by the lens of corporate goals and responsibilities. While not all managers take a “my way or the highway” approach to achieving their targets, they usually focus on the short-range view, asking how and when things will be done.

On the other hand, leaders adopt a long-range perspective. By asking what needs to be done and why, they seek out solutions that will benefit the company both now and in the future—even if those solutions challenge the existing practices and procedures.

Similarities between management and leadership

Despite the distinctions separating them, leadership and management are built on the same foundation. Both managers and leaders hold supervisory roles, and are responsible for directing a team of employees in pursuit of a set of common goals.

Regardless of the techniques and strategies they use, these senior roles carry additional responsibilities. Both are held accountable for the employees they supervise, sharing in the successes and the failures of their teams. Finally, managers and leaders are equally invested in the performance of the company as a whole.

How managers can move toward leadership roles

In today’s business landscape, those who adhere strictly to management principles will struggle to thrive. In order to cultivate a truly efficient and productive team, managers must incorporate aspects of leadership into their roles and learn to stretch existing boundaries.

Rather than simply assigning tasks to employees, managers should define a purpose for each team member. Telling them what to do is important, but telling them why they should do it helps them understand their own roles in the company, and allows them to feel like valued contributors to the team.

Encouraging employee participation—not just in production, but also in opinions on workplace issues and development of the business—is an important leadership tool that managers should embrace. This increases employee engagement, which naturally boosts productivity and improves efficiency.

We’re here to help

Helpmates Staffing has worked with the Southern California business market and its candidates for more than 40 years, providing highly qualified talent with leadership capabilities for companies like yours. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your management team.

How to Define Your Employment Brand. And Why It Is Important

Branding has become an essential part of marketing your business to customers. However, many employers don’t realize that branding strategies can also help you sell your company to current and potential employees—resulting in a stronger workforce that pays off in big dividends for your business.

An employment brand paints a picture of your company’s internal culture, attitudes, environment, and beliefs, letting people know what it’s like to work for you. There are several advantages to developing your employment brand that not only strengthen your team, but also spill over into customer satisfaction and community goodwill.

Here, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits of having a clearly defined employment brand.

Increase your employee retention

Every employer is familiar with the costs of high turnover. Lost time and lost production, administrative paperwork for termination, severance or unemployment pay, and all the expenses and hassle associated with hiring and training can add up to substantial losses.

With a strong employment brand, you can more readily identify employment candidates who suit your business culture. The closer the fit for the employee, the longer they’re likely to stick around and enjoy their work. Defining your employment brand also helps you attract the most relevant candidates. If people have a clear picture of what it’s like to work for your company, you’ll receive more applicants who are truly interested in a business environment like yours. You’ll be able to cut down on your budget for advertising openings, spend less time weeding through applicants, and avoid last-minute hiring mistakes. This means a lowered turnover and reduced investments in future hiring and training expenses.

Build your employee engagement

In the process of defining your employment brand, you’ll arrive at a set of values for your company that your employees can support, rally around, and spread to their peers—and your customers. Employee engagement has proven effective at increasing customer satisfaction, because engaged employees who enjoy their work naturally put forth greater effort, and produce higher quality products and services.

In fact, according to a 2011 study from CareerBuilder, 70 percent of job seekers are willing to accept less than their desired salary if the company has a strong employment brand. The unified message of a brand helps employees feel they’re making valuable contributions to a larger cause than themselves.

Improve your resource allocation

Finally, a clear employment brand lets you invest your resources where they are most needed to further your company’s growth and success. When you define your values as an employer, you can apply them to all of your investments and company initiatives, ensuring that you’re maintaining the most important aspects of the business.

With a defined employment brand, it’s easy to say “no” to investments that don’t adhere to your values and won’t further your growth. An employment brand helps ensure that every dollar counts, resulting in a loyal and fully engaged team of employees that will propel your company to success.

We’re here to help

For more than 40 years, Helpmates Staffing has worked with the Southern California market and its candidates to provide companies like yours with highly qualified talent. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help strengthen your employment brand and hire employees that outshine the competition.

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