'Managing Up' | A new phenomenon is hitting TikTok, and it may be good news for HR

A new phenomenon is hitting TikTok, and it may be good news for HR

TikTok, the social media platform that is most synonymous with dance trends, has now become a multi-national cultural hub of conversation and analysis.

In the process, the app is also now home to much discussion about the world of work, spawning trends such as ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘bare minimum Mondays’.

The latest trends to take TikTokers by storm is the idea of 'managing up'. The movement has amassed over 5.2million views and is garnering attention from employees worldwide. But what is this latest trend and how will it affect the world of work?

According to influencers, ‘managing up’ is the process of trying to ascertain ‘how to manage your manager effectively’. Adam Butler, CEO of Officeology, claims that the trend was likely gaining ground due to the increase in the number of Gen Z employees in the workplace, which has generated a shift in work-life practices and attitudes.

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“‘Managing up’ is essentially understanding your manager's working style and adjusting your own approach to make both your day-to-day jobs easier. I can see why people are behind this, as doing so encourages open dialogue, which can result in expectations being met and can help build a more positive relationship with your manager,” he states.

So, whilst the term may sound unnerving, the concept of essentially trying to ensure you’re on the same page as your manager could actually be a huge boon to productivity. And this makes understanding the symbiotic relationship between you and your employees absolutely essential.

With this in mind, what are the keys to helping workers ‘manage up’ and creating a truly effective relationship between worker and manager?

Mutually Beneficial Dynamics

First off, let's ditch the notion of a one-way street, where managers steer and employees follow. The heart of 'managing up' rests in the idea of a mutually beneficial relationship between managers and their teams.

It’s not about stroking egos or playing office politics; it's about cultivating a connection that propels both sides towards shared success. In an era where collaboration and innovation reign supreme, this reimagined relationship resonates with the pulse of modern workplaces.

Beyond the Surface

Peeling back the layers, 'managing up' isn’t a covert manoeuvre to flatter a boss. It's a strategic dance between a worker empowering themselves and aiding a manager's success. It's about leveraging strengths while also empathising with a manager's needs.

Consider it an investment in a bond that enhances career prospects while simultaneously driving a manager's achievements.

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Is this trend really a game-changer for managers? Absolutely. Here's why:

1. The traditional hierarchical model is evolving, and 'managing up' is the ticket to adapting. It promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration, transforming a simple reporting structure into a dynamic partnership.

2. Imagine an empowered workforce that doesn't just execute orders but takes ownership of tasks. By fostering this, 'managing up' boosts job satisfaction and engagement, fuelling a self-driven, innovative culture.

3. A stronger relationship between managers and employees leads to better engagement and, inevitably, heightened productivity. When employees understand their role in the larger picture, they're more likely to go above and beyond.

As the workplace terrain transforms, so must our strategies. The 'managing up' trend surging through TikTok isn't just a fad; it's a reflection of the progressive, collaborative nature of today's business landscape.

It's about cultivating a new breed of managers who inspire, empower, and collaborate. By embracing this movement, you’re not just adapting; you're leading the change, fostering an environment where both managers and employees thrive.



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