An employee is supposed to receive instructions from their manager, but what happens when he/she is overworked? In the end, a manager is just a human being and cannot always be everywhere at the same time. They need their subordinates to help them make decisions when they are overwhelmed.
Here, we have two options: let the work lag and wait for the manager to be the one to give the relevant guidance; or manage up, a form of self-management that has received a lot of attention in recent years.
This not only alleviates the burden on the manager, but also demonstrates the worker's ability and promotes them to professional advancement in the company.
Manage up as a work policy
Managing up not only benefits your boss: if done well, it has benefits for everyone. It generates positive relationships between employee and employer, increases employee engagement and boosts productivity.
To manage up and facilitate the boss's work, a series of actions must be combined:
Communicate priorities and look for opinion: weekly, a short meeting should be held between the manager and the employee with a good two-way dialogue, about what has been done in the last week and the plans for the next.
Anticipate your manager's needs: If your manager is overwhelmed, offloading them of some small task (like preparing a PowerPoint presentation) will make their job easier and they will be able to focus better on what is important.
Understand the manager's motivations: knowing your boss’s way of thinking will help you to communicate better with them. That includes learning their lines of communication and the times when they are most likely to listen to you.
Finding the right way to discuss problems: Without insulting the manager's style, the employee must know how to communicate problems to them before they get out of control, respecting the culture of the company and not crossing the limits.
Help in a comprehensively way: in a good boss-subordinate relationship, it is important to detect the areas in which the manager has the most difficulty and help with them, so that the trust is established to delegate that function to the worker.
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More advantages of manage up
To the extent that the workers support the manager's activity, the easier and more effective it will be. It is not a matter of becoming a lackey or a henchman for the boss at the expense of teammates. This pose, even with the best of intentions, stands out quickly and can cause a lot of damage.
On the contrary, a collective and sincere disposition to assist the manager in theirfunctions only brings benefits to the work team. Not only do bosses respect the effort to help them in their mission, but by doing this it is easier for them to highlight the subordinate's areas of competence and make them an interesting candidate for positions of greater responsibility.
All this, without even considering that while the manager has less weight on their shoulders and this is distributed in a more equitable way, a healthier work environment will be created.