How to Be a Better Manager
So, you want to learn how to be a better manager? Here’s the good news. You just took the first step toward improving your leadership skills. Managers must seek out information and work to improve their skills to find the most success.
However, learning to become a better manager requires more than picking up a “how-to” book. This is because management skills are hard to learn without experience. That doesn’t mean that reading up on leadership techniques isn’t useful. It means that those people in supervisory roles usually need to dive in headfirst to learn the ropes.
But as they say, you must learn to crawl before you can walk. So, we’re here to help! This post includes useful tips for managers to improve their performance and get better results.
Keep reading to uncover advice on how to be a better manager. Then, take the information you learn and apply it to your own management experience. Chances are that the tips listed here will help you on your journey to becoming the world’s best manager.
Being a manager is more than a promotion and a new title. The workload also increases along with the salary.
One of the most important responsibilities managers undertake is the direct oversight of those working underneath them. The performance and actions of the employees under your supervision fall back on you. This fact is enough to motivate many managers to work toward success in their roles.
Being a successful manager means more than attaining positive results on projects and initiatives. While these things are always important for companies, managers have a greater responsibility to their team.
The job of a manager is to cultivate the success of individual employees, the team they oversee, and ultimately, the organization. It involves a combination of responsibilities, including:
- Training and development
- Oversight of daily activities
- Motivating and engaging employees
- Fostering communication and relationships
- Handling disputes and disagreements
- Working for the success of projects
- Monitoring performance
This list by no means covers the entire scope of activities managers undertake every day in the workplace. Also, the details vary greatly depending on the industry, type of organization, and size of the company.
Why Good Managers Are Important
To underline the importance of effective leadership within organizations, let’s dig into some specifics.
Research shows that almost 50% of professionals report bad management as the number one reason for their departure from a company.
Motivated and engaged employees are 21% more productive than disengaged employees.
Highly motivated employees and teams generate an increase in revenue 2.3 times higher than unmotivated teams.
So, what can we glean from these statistics? The answer is that a bad boss is bad for business. On the other hand, good managers create positive benefits for their organizations, such as:
- Lowered turnover and increased retention rates
- Increased efficiency and productivity
- Highly satisfied and motivated employees
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Increased revenue and a greater return on investment
Tips for How to Be a Better Boss
By now, you have a better understanding of the responsibilities that come with a management position. It’s time to get into the ways managers can improve themselves, thereby improving their teams.
Below are tips designed to help managers be the best boss they can be.
Develop Self Awareness
Every individual in an organization brings their own set of strengths and weaknesses to the table, including managers. Managers must leverage their strengths and commit to improving their weaknesses. The only way this happens is through self-awareness.
Managers use performance evaluations to help employees discover their strengths. This method of self-reflection helps managers in the same way. Ask yourself questions and constructively use your responses.
Develop Your Skills
Training and development programs for managers are often underutilized. Many times, new managers are “thrown to the wolves.” They step into their new position suddenly and without much preparation.
The reasons for this vary depending on the situation, but the results are the same. Managers must figure out the best ways to perform their roles, modifying and perfecting skills along the way.
The best way to develop leadership skills is through training combined with real-world experience. Ask your direct supervisors if any programs are available within the company.
If your organization doesn’t offer any kind of leadership training, seek it out yourself. Your local chamber of commerce may have information on courses in your area. Or, consider online learning courses, which are often available for free or at a very low cost.
Find Your Leadership Approach
Every manager develops their own management style. The secret to success is finding your style and using it in the right ways. The best managers know that different situations call for different approaches. Below are some common management styles to consider:
Effective managers leverage their strengths and preferences to develop their style. Remember, where one management style may thrive, another may fail. Take the time to consider the needs of each employee and situation. Then, adjust your style to gain the best results.
Listen and Learn
Employees have a lot to say. Yet, studies show that most employees feel like no one is listening. Managers must listen to the concerns, ideas, and issues raised by each employee. Employees reward you with increased trust and a greater willingness to communicate.
Managers can’t fix problems they are not aware of. This is why open and honest communication with team members is essential. Employees need to feel their manager is approachable and willing to listen. Afterward, take quick and effective action to solve problems and alleviate concerns.
Perfect Your Job Role
Every new job is an adventure. This is especially true for managers, who are often tasked with a very long list responsibilities. It is easy for managers to quickly feel overwhelmed. Throw in the expectation of coaching and mentoring an entire team of people, and success feels unachievable at times.
However, remember that practice makes perfect. So, take the time to familiarize yourself with the details of your role. Learn the specifics that relate to your position, and work to become an expert.
For areas where you feel unsure or unclear about something, reach out to your direct supervisors for clarification. It’s better to ask for help when it’s needed, rather than struggle needlessly. Plus, asking for guidance helps show your boss that you truly care about your success within your new role.
Build Valuable Relationships
Employees need clear and consistent direction from leadership. However, employees are people as well, not just automatons who show up to work every day. The same is true of managers. Your boss is an actual person, just like you.
Many managers find it helpful to create situations that put employees on a level playing field, where both boss and employee are equals. This means taking the time to meet your employees where they are and making a concerted effort to reach them on a personal level.
Building positive relationships is easier than it sounds. All it takes is time and effort on your part. Show up early and strike up a casual conversation or stop by an employee’s workspace before clocking out to ask how their day went.
Lead by Example
Managers that lead by example are present on the floor every day. Instead of hiding in their office, they interact with team members daily. When employees see their boss working alongside them, toward a common goal, they are more motivated to work for the success of the organization.
Another way to lead by example is to follow through. There’s nothing worse than a boss who says one thing, then does another. It leaves employees feeling as if their manager is untrustworthy, sneaky, underhanded, and worse. Building and maintaining trust with team members is vital.
Delegate and Motivate
It is sometimes tempting for managers to attempt to tackle everything themselves. You might feel like you can complete a task faster and more efficiently yourself, and don’t want to risk results by delegating work to someone else.
When you step into the role of manager, you give up the ability to do everything alone. That’s not the point of a manager. If this is consistent behavior for you, make an effort to change it. Delegating tasks to your team helps them learn, grow, and gain confidence.
When projects are complete, it’s time to show appreciation and recognition to your team for a job well done. Employees who receive genuine appreciation from their superiors are more motivated.
Employees are at the front of business operations every day. They interact with customers, perform tasks, and complete projects. They represent the backbone of a business, and their success is vital for the long-term success of a company.
Managers are the driving force behind the success or failure of a company’s workforce. Without a motivated, engaged, and satisfied team, companies struggle to maintain growth and success.
Learning to be a better manager is an attainable goal for those willing to put in the work. Do some self-reflection, encourage your team members, and create a positive working environment. If you work to build trust, communication, and confidence with your employees, you’re already on your way.