“Managing up” is a viral workplace trend on TikTok, accumulating over 5.2M views where creators have shared their top tips on managing your manager effectively.
But how progressive is this workplace trend?
Workplace well-being expert and CEO of Officeology, Adam Butler, has shared his thoughts on this viral TikTok trend: “Over the past year, ‘managing up’ has become a well-known workplace term that has seen a surge in popularity, especially in recent months. This is likely due to the increase in Gen Z employees, which has shifted work-life practices and attitudes.
“Managing up” is understanding your manager’s working style and adjusting your approach to simplify your day-to-day jobs. I can see why people are behind this, as doing so encourages open dialogue, which can result in expectations being met and help build a more positive relationship with your manager.
“However, I understand some may argue that “managing up” is glamorised as a guaranteed route to success. While the quality and delivery of your work are undoubtedly crucial for career progression, I believe the core elements of this trend, such as building positive workplace relationships, adapting to working styles different from your own, and prompting open communication, are invaluable skills that you can also bring with you through everyday life.”
How can you “manage up” effectively?
Align expectations with your manager
Have you ever been in a scenario where you thought your manager asked you to do something, and you went ahead and did it, only to discover you had different expectations? Before you start any task, share how you plan to approach it with your manager beforehand, ask their opinion, and don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions.
This allows for an open dialogue where your manager can provide suggestions, giving you a better understanding of what your manager is looking for.
Think like your manager
Anticipating your manager’s needs is very important, as this will differentiate you as a high performer and signal to your manager that you know how to think one step ahead. Consider what questions they typically ask you or the next steps they would recommend, as there is usually a pattern.
Show that you’ve already thought through how you would tackle any challenges by outlining your thought process and that you are ready to take on the next steps before they even say it; they will appreciate you for it.
Provide actionable feedback
Managing up at work involves speaking up when necessary, so if you notice something isn’t working well or if there’s a month where resources are low. The workload becomes overwhelming; openly communicate this with your manager.
Your manager may not always be fully aware of every day-to-day challenge, so bridging the gap and approaching them with the problem and possible solutions shows your manager that you care about performance and are using your initiative to prevent problems from recurring.