Hit by budget cuts, structure overhauls, and risk of pension reductions, the public sector continues to face challenges. In this ever-changing environment, it takes skilled and talented managers to keep businesses running and staff motivated.
Here are some important skills for public sector managers to embody:
Changes to public sector structure and funding means that managers need to be able to quickly adapt to the pressures that they face. This can mean adapting processes to get the most effective results from your team on a limited budget.
Many public sector organisations have also faced the need for restructuring of positions, which can be a sensitive issue. In order to be able to adapt quickly to such needs, it is important to have an understanding of how the organisation works. You must have knowledge of staff roles, the demands of their workload, and what processes can be streamlined. Through this, you can quickly amend processes and adapt to cuts in the most effective way for the organisation.
There has long been a debate between the competences of public sector managers in relation to private. Dr David Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Commercial Management at Manchester Business School, has questioned whether ‘managers running government departments had the right commercial aptitude’. He states that ‘while it is generally acknowledged that commercial skills within the public sector have been improving, they are still not comparable with those found in the private sector’.
Commercial acumen and outlook is important across the public sector, and as a manager you must build the ‘commercial skills both to establish and to maintain appropriate trading relationships’, says Lowe.
With substantial changes to working processes and the risks of cuts, your staff morale will be affected. Concerns for employment security and increased workload can leave staff feeling deflated and not working to their full potential. As a manager, it is important to keep your team engaged and committed to short-term goals. Motivating staff begins with your own mental attitude; keep positive, lead by example and provide praise and reward for success.
As a public sector manager in the current economic climate, you will not only need to be able to adapt to demands, but also create new solutions to overcome hurdles on a restricted budget. You must have the open mind to explore new ideas and ways of working that can reduce costs and help processes to run smoother.
Whatever your sector, industry or management level, management training courses can provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to be successful in the workplace. Further learning in this capacity provides the foundation of knowledge that you can the implement in your business life.
This is a guest post for TheEmployable