The role of a manager will vary by company and industry, but overall, they are responsible for managing people and/or a department.
A good manager is vital for the success of the employees, as well as the company. This is because they are the line of communication between employees and they are responsible for leading the team. They give direction, answer questions, delegate tasks, keep projects on track, improve wellbeing and productivity, look after their staff, train employees, make important decisions, manage conflicts, manage the needs and budget of the department, progress and evaluate staff, and much more. Being a manager is a huge responsibility, as the performance of the employees and the department depends on a good leader.
Many characteristics make up a good manager. Many of these will be down to the individual, their experience, and their personal qualities. There are also many common attributes that are necessary to work on to be a good manager. Whether you are a manager looking to improve your skills, or you are training to become a manager, here are some of the most important tips to help you become a good manager.
#1 Establish good communication
Excellent communication is going to impact the success of the team. Not only does a manager need to know how to best communicate with their team, but to also put the necessary channels in place so that strong communication is facilitated within the team.
To enable effective communication in the workplace, you should endeavour to learn about your employees and their individual needs. Everyone in your team is going to be unique and communicate in different ways. As a manager, it is up to you to learn about their needs and how you can keep everyone involved. This might mean experimenting with different channels until you find one that works best and is accessible to your employees. You should ensure that you lay the foundations and be a good role model, and communicate how you expect the team to communicate. Make sure all methods of communication are open at all times, encourage everyone to communicate, and ensure messages are delivered clearly.
Part of communicating also means listening and showing empathy. Good communication is a process that includes more than one person, and active listening is a key part of that. This shows respect and ensures you can learn all you need from the information being received.
Good communication means work can flow better, employees are more productive, issues can be dealt with properly, and it reduces the risks of any miscommunications.
#2 Encourage team-building activities
Any team is going to be made up of a variety of characters and personalities. Each will bring its own strengths to the team, but it is also important to find a way to bring all the different people together. They will all need to work effectively, produce high-quality work and communicate well. One of the best ways to bring people together and improve the way they work is to introduce team-building activities into the workplace.
There is a range of team-building activities that you can choose from. Regardless of what you choose, team-building activities aim to give everyone a common goal to share. As a team, you then have to work together and overcome obstacles to achieve that goal.
This is a great way to learn more about each team member, how they work and what their strengths are. It also enables everyone to build trust, regulate communication, bring people closer together, foster creativity, develop new skills, find new ways of working, encourage healthy competition, resolve conflicts, and improve the company culture. All of these are vital skills for a team to work together and improve productivity, collaboration, and communication in the workplace.
As a manager, you must regularly engage your employees in team-building exercises. You should also be involved in these to help bring you closer to your team and reap the same benefits.
#3 Set high standards
The role of the manager is to set high standards and uphold these high standards. Your team is going to be a reflection of your actions, so it is important that you set clear standards, communicate what these are to your team, and make sure you follow through with them. In addition to this, you should make sure that you provide your employees with the support and resources they need to uphold these standards. Any standards that you set should be measurable, and your employees should receive regular feedback on their performance.
This will enable them to see what they are doing well, and what they can improve on. Make sure the feedback is constructive, and they know what actions they need to take to move forward. You cannot expect your employees to perform to a high standard if you have not set realistic expectations or cannot uphold them yourself.
#4 Advocate for your team
Your employees must know that you, as their manager, are on their side. Advocating for your team means building trust, loyalty, and confidence within your employees. There are many ways that you can advocate for your team, for example, make sure you listen to their concerns, regularly check in with them, help them find solutions, avoid criticising your team and make sure your employees feel appreciated and valued.
One of the best ways you can advocate for your team is to make sure credit and rewards are given where they are due. Employees tend to work extremely hard, but this motivation will only last so long if they are recognised for their hard work. If they are not, this could lead to dissatisfaction and a high turnover of staff. This happens more often when employees are working hard, long hours, above and beyond what is typically expected of them.
Make sure you keep your staff motivated, offer opportunities for professional development, provide recognition and progress them where necessary. If your employees are working overtime, make sure they are paid what they are owed. There is a legal standard for which employees should be recognised for any overtime work, you can learn more about this resource How To Calculate Overtime: A Step-By-Step Guide. Your employees should be paid fairly for the work they do and recognised for any additional responsibilities that they take on.
Being a good manager requires a lot of practice and the right skills. Make sure you adopt these practices so that you can be a good manager leading an effective team.