A line manager is an individual who straightly manages other employees and operations of a business while reporting to a higher ranking manager. The line manager term is mostly used interchangeably with “direct manager.”
Liabilities of the Line Manager
The line (or direct) manager plays a significant role in the operation of several businesses. The individual is responsible for managing workers and resources in pursuit of acquiring particular functional or organizational aims. Few of the liabilities of the general line manager include:
- Recruiting and employing talent to fill team positions
- Providing training and support to new hires
- Cross-training workers to make sure the job rotation and minimize assignment coverage gaps
- Offering coaching and performance response to all team members
- Communicating and ensuring compression of functional or departmental goals
- Monitoring individual and team metrics and performance versus targets
- Recognizing the requirement for corrective actions
- Ensuring quality standards for all procedures
- Evaluating overall team and individual performance and delivering the performance reviews
- Engaging with other line managers across the organization
- Offering reports on productivity and other performance indicators to management
Significance of the Line Manager
Deployed on the liability listing above, it is obvious that the role of line manager plays a significant part in the overall organizational performance. A good manager is actively engaged with his/her team members providing support, offering encouragement and delivering positive and constructive feedback on a daily basis. Line Managers straightly influence employee satisfaction and engagement, and as a result, organizational productivity and even customer satisfaction.
While senior management is engaged in developing and approving a firm’s strategy, the hard work of executing the strategy takes place at lower levels of the organization. Line Managers are crucial cogs in ensuring that new programs are implemented in a timely and effective manner. They are well positioned to identify issues with the strategy execution programs and the input of the line manager is essential for organizational learning.
Talent development is a key priority for any agency, and line managers wield huge control over the identification, development, and promotion of talented professionals on their teams. Often, the next generation of line managers emerges from these teams.
Challenges of the Line Manager
There are a variety of stress points and challenges for a typical line manager. These include:
- Important responsibility for overall operations, often with limited resources.
- Jobs that claim long hours
- A trend to maximize the line manager’s span of control. Instead of six to eight direct reports, line managers often have much larger teams. The larger the team, the more difficult it is to provide timely and effective coaching and development support
- The requirement to navigate frequent employee turnover. Several line managers are in perpetual hiring and training mode, making it difficult for them to implement operational improvements or increase performance versus productivity targets
- Constant pressure to decrease expenses and maximize output