What Are the Challenges & Stresses of a Manager's Job?
In a career as a manager, no matter what the industry, you have a wide range of workplace responsibilities. In addition to overseeing employee productivity, you're also charged with goal-setting, conflict resolution, and short- and long-term strategic planning. You may also oversee scheduling, maintain a budget, and conduct skills and service training. All of these responsibilities present challenges and the potential for a stressful occupation.
If something goes wrong with a department, team or individual employee, the manager is usually held responsible. Problems may include missed deadlines, un-covered work shifts, unfulfilled quotas, customer complaints and budget overages. Repeated problems can create a heavy burden on you and lead to frustration and high stress levels.
Issues that arise between employees can be minor skirmishes that quickly fade away -- or major problems that can result in a hostile work environment. Regardless, your role as a manager is to address all employee conflicts. Mediating issues between employees can be a stressful endeavor, especially if the time you spend moderating problem employees results in your own lost productivity.
As a manager, you may be charged with helping employees set appropriate professional goals. This involves assessing employee strengths and abilities in conjunction with the needs of the department, and developing appropriate objectives. Once goals are established, you are then responsible for overseeing progress, conducting performance reviews and evaluations. If goals are unmet, you may face criticism from your own supervisor.
To perform their jobs to the best of their abilities, employees need a strong sense of motivation, most often supplied by their manager. In this capacity, you are charged with getting employees excited about a task or project and demonstrating how their efforts have a positive impact on the business. This may involve developing incentive programs and employee reward initiatives. Unmotivated employees are often unproductive employees, which can add to your performance stress.
When employee performance or behavioral issues arise, you are often charged with counseling workers, documenting issues and, when appropriate, carrying out disciplinary procedures. This work can be stressful, especially if you have personal or close working relationships with your staff members. Suspending or otherwise removing an employee from the workplace can also leave a gap in the workforce, which can be a hazard to the health of a business.
Hiring and Firing
When an employee must be terminated, it is frequently left to you to handle the process. This can be a disruptive event in many ways. The termination may involve an exit interview, final pay and oversight while the employee removes his personal belongings. To replace the fired worker, you must advertise for the position, interview candidates, fill the job and train the new worker. This can often mean you're short-staffed for a period, which can take time away from your regular responsibilities.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.