The Secrets of Great ManagersFebruary 11, 2019 10:11 am
Effective managers ensure that each employee under their stewardship is engaged and working productively toward the company’s goals. With poor management, employee morale sinks, and turnover rates soar. If you want to keep your workers and customers, you need to have strong managers.
Management can help set the tone in the work environment. A good manager will inspire a workforce to greater productivity, positivity, and innovation. So what are the secrets to being an A+ manager? Here are just a few.
Communication is a basic element in keeping employees engaged. Great managers make their expectations known. There’s nothing worse for employees than being punished or penalized for failing to meet an expectation that they didn’t know about in the first place. Be specific in helping employees understand what you need from them. This can be accomplished through staff meetings or one-on-one conferences.
You should also take time to have regular feedback sessions with employees to let them know how they are measuring up based on your specific expectations. If you need to relay negative feedback, do it tactfully and couple it with positive feedback. If an employee’s performance is lacking, empower them to come up with a way to better meet expectations. Schedule a meeting to re-evaluate their progress.
Give Your Employees the Right Tools
Before you give an employee a task, make sure that they feel comfortable with what is being asked of them. They will find it hard to do a job well if they lack the skills or time; ensure that they have an adequate amount of both. As you counsel with your employee, you may learn that they need more training to perform a task adequately. Help them gain this training—either through mentoring from another employee or a formal course. If your employees are well-equipped to accomplish what they need to, they will have less anxiety, resentment, frustration and will be stronger contributors to your corporate team
If people are scared to talk to their bosses, they could hold things in and build up grudges or release them in the form of a negative undercurrent that could sink office morale. Let your employees know that they can come to you with questions or concerns. You can make this clear simply by saying it to your workforce, but remember that actions speak louder than words. If you say that you have an open door policy, then get defensive or angry when people give you feedback, they’ll quickly learn that you’re disingenuous.
When employees have viable suggestions for improving work processes or the company as a whole, support them and put their feedback into action. This sends a strong message that you value your employees and their ideas. You should also take responsibility for your shortcomings. Apologizing is not a sign of weakness; it shows that you’re willing to improve. It also shows that you’re human, which makes you more approachable.
Remember the Little Things
As a manager, you have a lot on your plate, but don’t get so caught up in the rat race that you forget to take time for the small things that can pack a big punch. Give employees regular compliments for a job well done, acknowledge employees’ birthdays and other special days, put up decorations in the office on holidays, and send thank you notes when you see employees going above and beyond. These small efforts don’t take much time, but they can go a long way in fostering employee loyalty and morale.
Don’t Forget About You
You’ll be better equipped to guide your workers if you are constantly improving yourself. Do things to stay on top of your craft, whether it be attending leadership conferences or reading the best books or articles on management.
Take care of your health, and maintain work-life harmony. If you’re stressed out and have your priorities in the wrong order, your employees will sense it. If you feel yourself getting caught up in the weeds or feeling overworked, look at ways you can outsource or delegate more effectively. This could include outsourcing some of your HR responsibilities to a professional job recruiter or hiring an administrative assistant to take care of the detail work. As a manager, you should arrange your schedule so that you have adequate time to innovate, evaluate, improve processes, and take care of your top priority—your people. You can’t afford to get trapped in the details and lose the big picture.
As the saying goes, if you lead, they will follow. A good manager can make all the difference in guiding a company toward its full potential.