Power can be a funny commodity when dispersed among layers of people. Some people are able to process that power easily and fairly, never letting it go to their head or affect their decision-making. Other people, with just a little power, can try and start an empire, using their leverage to push those down around them.
Although it can be hard to predict powerful reactions to those chosen to work as Traffic Managers, as the boss, there are a few things you can do to help ensure these individuals respect their power within the agency:
- Centralized Software: If you let the Traffic Manager run the entire agency according to their wants and preferences, things can get messy, quickly. There needs to be some kind of consistent standard that everyone in your operation has to respect. One of the easiest ways to ensure this happens is by on-boarding a centralized workflow system (e.g. CurrentTrack®) that mandates a variety of tasks and communications all occur according to the same standards. It will communicate to your Traffic Managers that they might not have as much discretion as they think.
- Be Hands-On: If you make someone a Traffic Manager and let them run rampant for six months without any conferences, check-ins, or monitoring, they’re going to continue amassing power within their teams (and within their head). You need to be hands-on from the get-go, accessing the software from time to time and checking in with them to let them know that at the end of the day, they still are not the most powerful entity with the organization. We’re not saying you need to undermine their authority; just be present.
- Training & Education: Humans need frequent reminders regarding things they might already know. It’s just part of being a human being. Show your Traffic Manager that you not only care about them, but that you also care about their effectiveness, through routine trainings and fun education collaborative meetings that go over power and power dispersion. These training sessions don’t have to be boring and mundane; you can make them fun and provide lunch to your Traffic Manager while administering them. Even take some time to be the one teaching them as opposed to sticking a TV in the room every single time.
Of course, it can still be hard to shape how some Managers deal with their newfound power. But, one of the most proactive things you can do about it is integrate a centralized traffic management system that takes away from of their power and places it back into the structure of the agency. It’s better for you, better for your employees, and even better for your Managers, keeping everything consistent and predictable for all people involved.