Most of today’s best radio managers have had to
manage people by trial and error. There is no one training process for radio management,
nor is it simple. You’re also overseer of the station’s morale.
managers enlist staff participation.
Managing personnel has not always been one of
the main criteria for becoming program director or general manager; yet these
positions often dictate the station’s management style and the morale that
As consultant, I’ve noticed the importance of
maintaining the staff’s confidence as a leader. You can’t lead if those following
aren’t convinced you’re the one for the job. In a conflict, you’ve got to rise
above your personal feelings and let your immediate emotional response pass
beforeyou determine how to respond.
The most basic element in managing and creating
positive morale is the art of honest communication. People don’t execute what
they don’t understand. Good communication is a priority of the highest level. People
best accomplish that which they embrace — or at the very least understand.
Take responsibility for your actions; it is the
only way to manage people effectively. Own up to “doing the right thing” at all
times. This is a masterful way to demonstrate integrity while gaining respect
of the staff.
you caused a problem or not, take the responsibility to bring it to the
attention of management so it may be addressed. We respect a person who admits
to mistakes, asks for help or guidance to correct it, and then does what’s
necessary to make things work.
do you best describe your management style? Are you hands-on, laid back or someplace
in between? Is it important to “park your ego at the door”?
Each manager has his or her ways of accomplishing
effective ways to manage morale. You must hire people who can understand and are
willing to conform to your standards of excellence. Provide them with the best
tools your budget allows.
Involve them in all aspects pertaining to
department and individual goals, and then establish a system of meetings and reports,
which allows you to track their progress without interfering with their
Further, a management mission statement for the
station or group is an effective way of enlisting staff and encouraging them to
work toward the same goals.
staff to participate in the process. It increases morale while creating
ownership in the principals important to the collective group.
ultimate mission statement, which I use as a “way of life,” is that if you
believe your station or group is the best place in the state or country to
work, ultimately the best people will want to work here.
Gary Begin, with
partner Steve Bianchi, is a radio consultant, researcher and strategist with Identity
Programming, a multi-format consulting firm specializing in small- and medium-growth
markets. It is based in Jackson, Tenn., with offices in Warwick, R.I.Reach him at (731) 437-0536 or via