Management represents both the individuals who help guide a company and the style used to oversee workers. Many different types of management styles exist, from more authoritarian to those styles that take a hands-off approach. Laissez-faire leadership is a nonauthoritarian management style that allows employees to work without much supervision. The style often works best where employees are self-starters and have personal motivation that leads to their working successfully. Laissez-faire leadership also has drawbacks, where employees may run amok without proper guidance from managers.
Classical management instruction tends to focus on three important attributes: planning, directing, and control. Planning is the tasks leaders use to move the company through the current business environment. Laissez-faire leadership often concerns itself with the latter two activities: directing and control. Directing involves coordinating resources and employees into the positions necessary for completing specific tasks and activities. Control represents how a leader or manager keeps the various parts of the company on track.
Laissez-faire leadership attempts to achieve the control activities in a subtle manner. For example, rather than being directly involved with how employees complete daily activities, the laissez-fair leader leaves the workers to their own devices. These leaders tend to believe that employees work better when given a set of directives and then left alone to accomplish tasks. In short, an employee’s self-interest for creating methods to work in a company is best under laissez-faire leadership principles. Leaders monitor the workers from a distance and communicate with them to ensure the achievement of goals and opportunities.
Companies with highly motivated and skilled employees tend to find laissez-faire leadership a proper management tool. Skilled workers are often the best type for working in this environment. A skilled worker has the personal traits and education to complete tasks and activities and often with great results. In some cases, skilled workers may bristle at too much oversight. They may see this as a lack of faith in their abilities to work in a specific position.
Drawbacks do exist in laissez-faire leadership. The biggest drawback may be giving up too much control to employees. Workers may not complete tasks in a timely manner or work as hard if they were under direct management. Employees may also not exhibit the ability to retain a budget or work within specific standards set by the company. Companies need to define a way to overcome these drawbacks and others with laissez-faire leadership.