Being a manager is tricky business. You have to manage employee desires to keep the ship running smoothly, while also making sure you’re able to keep profits high enough to keep everyone above you happy. Even though being a manager is more art than a science, there are some skills that every manager should have in their arsenal to lead effectively.
It would be easy to be a manager if everyone in the company had the same vision, was hard working, asked questions, and worked well with one another with a positive attitude to match, but this sadly is rarely reality. If you’re wondering how to be the best manager you can be here are skills to work on developing.
Ability to Motivate Employees
It’s everyone’s ideal situation to hire someone who is already enthusiastic about the job simply, but this is easier said than done. Sometimes we just have to deal with employees who need an extra push. Perhaps something is happening in their lives and there down in the dumps, they suffer from depression, or they have lost their mojo for the industry. Either way, it’s up to you to lead them.
A good manager needs to be able to pay attention to their employees enough so they can notice when someone on the team is struggling. Then the manager needs to be able to approach the topic appropriately a work toward fixing the situation. This can be done in whatever way is best for the company, time off, a move to a different department, promotion (if deserved), et cetera.
Deal With Conflicts Head-On
Dealing with significant conflicts in the office is awkward. You only want to deal with what’s on your agenda for the day, not inner-employee relations, but that’s part of the job. A good manager needs to recognize office conflicts and solve them when appropriate. If it’s a small conflict between coworkers, it may sort itself out well enough.
But something larger, like people complaining about a company policy, needs to be dealt with and solved to keep everyone content in their positions. This holds true for negative employees too. A negative employee can bring the morale down of the whole staff. Negative employees should be addressed and talked to.
Show Humility; Avoid Hubris
It’s okay not to know everything. Your job is to lead, not be an encyclopedia. It’s okay to ask questions if you are unsure of something. Ask someone on your staff or someone who is higher up for you. If an employee has a question tell them you will get back to them with an answer and ask someone. This also goes for things you need help on. If you need a hand dealing with a task or a conflict, don’t be afraid to reach out.
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Set Clear Objectives
No one enjoys working toward an unclear goal. People want to know what their objectives are the milestones for those aims. Put into detail exactly what you want completed to solve confusion among staff. People will have fewer questions for you and feel more confident in their assignments. The time you spend providing clear goals and the ways to achieve them is a time which is valuable spent.
Do As You Preach
The best leaders are the ones who follow their sermon. If you tell your staff they need to work extra hours to get something accomplished; you should work just as many hours as they do. People look up to managers who they see work just as hard, if not harder than they do. Plus, if someone complains you can confidently back up your requirements because you’re in the thick of it too.
Reward Employees Who Perform Well
If you have an employee that’s working extra hours without complaint or an employee whose crushing deadlines they deserve a reward. The reward needs to be more than a ‘thanks’ and a ‘good job’ too. Get them a $25 gift card to somewhere they enjoy, bring them in coffee in the morning or tea, or find another thoughtful way to reward them. People love knowing their work is appreciated. You’ll find employees work harder when they are appreciated, too. One accident and injury lawyer is well-known for this and has found it to be a great asset to his legal team.
Creativity is the lifeblood of innovation and success. Your employees should be able to think creatively and come up with company suggestions. Part of being creative is reducing workplace related stress through keeping over time limited, providing a cushion on deadlines, and making employees feel appreciated. Companies like Google and Facebook thrive on employee creativity and provides a workspace that fosters it. No one knows your company better than the people who work there, so listen to what they have to say.
Foster Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is internal goals. These are desires a person has that may or may not be work related, but are the most important aims of a person. A good manager can learn their employee’s intrinsic motivations and support them in their goals. If an employee wants to have a family, off them more hours to make it easier financially or time off to get the family started. If an employee intends to stay in Peru to learn to scuba, offer them time off to do so. People work to provide for a comfortable lifestyle, so their wants should be supported.
Being a good manager takes a lot of patience and care. It’s a difficult job as you are the person between upper-management and your employees. It’s up to you to be a fair and reasonable intermediary between the two.