After undertaking three years of studying within the field of Management and Business, I have learned a wealth of theories that work in a wealth of hypothetical situations and ideal worlds. What I’ll be touching upon now is why the average store manager, in charge of a wide demographic, will never seem to be a successful manager in the eyes of employees.
Within management theories there are a wealth of theories that suggest “if you allow X to happen, employee will flourish”. This is all well and good, we all love when X causes employees to flourish! What these theories do not remind us is that they only tend to be somewhat successful in the setting in which they were theorised and researched. Which brings me on to the store manager.
I work part-time (though recently a lot more than that) at a supermarket in which hundreds of people are employed from a wide range of educational and personal backgrounds. As a student who appreciates how difficult it must be to manage such a wide variation of people and allow them to be somewhat happy within the workplace, I do think my manager is extremely successful within their job – but this belief is only partially shared.
For a manager to be successful, they need to be able to use incentives and levels of interaction which are favourable to the employees without being too favourable towards any particular employee, which automatically brings about a massive hurdle as employees all want different things. Some want financial reward, other progression, others recognition, and others just simply want to be left alone. This factor, combined with the fact that the manager has a difficult job of their own to complete to me suggests that no store manager is ever going to be considered successful by their employees as a majority.
Theories of successful leadership rely on a very similar demographic wanting the same rewards. In a setting in which people may be working part time to assist their studies, or in which people have been working full-time for 30 years, this level of success seems regrettably unattainable.