The management practices of good leaders build successful teams. After all, managers set the tone for performance in the workplace. They provide their team members with the example and guidance necessary to effectively do their jobs. Organizations depend on good managers to ensure productivity at the employee level and drive success from the ground up.
Good leadership qualities and skills are relatively universal. This means the same attributes are beneficial in many different industries. Fostering productive work environments for employees to thrive truly comes down to a few essential and effective leadership techniques.
But first, let’s clarify what we mean by “management practices.”
Management Practices Defined
Management practices are the collection of routines, policies, procedures, and tools that organizational leaders use to effectively lead a team. They are the go-to techniques that team leaders in an organization use regularly. They are the means through which managers inspire their subordinates to be productive team members and motivate them to hit their objectives.
Effective Management Practices
Good management techniques add value to organizations. Employees led by effective leaders have a clear vision of company goals and know exactly how to work toward them.
Here are some of the best management practices known to help teams run efficiently and effectively.
1: Good Communication
Employees who receive good communication from their managers always know exactly what is going on in the workplace. They are clear on their expectations, shared goals, and responsibilities. They know exactly what is expected of them at any given time.
Managers who communicate well are always in-tune with their teams. From employee satisfaction and morale to successes and failures, good communication practices ensure everyone is always on the same page.
In practice, good communication looks like this:
- Giving clear directions
- Actively listening
- Asking specific questions
- Fielding incoming questions patiently
- Frequently checking in with employees
Good communication is one of the simplest management practices to act upon and takes very minimal effort. Managers who routinely communicate well are also more approachable; their subordinates find it easier to communicate with them in return.
2: Promoting Employee Engagement with Company Vision
Engaged employees have an easier time relating to the company’s vision and taking ownership of goals. Most workplace teams are made up of many moving parts of employees. When each employee understands how their role relates to the roles of their colleagues, they have an easier time understanding their importance as part of the team.
This helps to facilitate engagement, and managers contribute by actively inspiring their employees. They present the company vision with enthusiasm and point out how employee responsibilities contribute to it. As a result, employees know exactly what to do to contribute to the company, which helps them to take more pride in their work.
3: Positive Reinforcement
Managers should consistently reward the types of employee behaviors they’d like to see more of. Praise and recognition for a job well done go a long way toward employee satisfaction. Being reminded that their work is helpful and valued makes employees more likely to continue to perform in that capacity.
If employee motivation is an issue, oftentimes implementing a goal incentive jump-starts employee productivity. When this goal is met, managers should still offer recognition for hard work.
4: Delegating Tasks and Responsibilities
Even managers get overwhelmed by their workload. These instances are great opportunities to delegate some responsibilities to the rest of the team. Employees have the chance to expand on their current skills and step into more leadership-oriented responsibilities.
When delegating, be sure to give clear instructions regarding the nature of the tasks. Specify who has which responsibilities, and clarify any applicable deadlines before setting employees off to do the tasks. Make sure to step back and let them navigate the new scenario as independently as possible without micromanaging.
Good managers need to be consistent in all aspects of leading a team. Expectations, responses to different circumstances, supporting and recognizing hard-working employees, and all other leadership practices need to create a stable and consistent environment in the workplace.
This gives employees better peace of mind while on the job and eliminates unnecessary questions or confusion. Employees know they can depend on consistent managers.
6: Using Data to Drive Decisions
Another good management practice is to make sure big decisions are backed up by quantifiable data. If an employee survey reveals that many employees are less overwhelmed after hiring more staff members to share the responsibility, this is a good sign that expanding the team is a worthy expense for the business.
Most managers have superiors of their own to answer to. Having the survey data to justify this kind of decision shows that the manager is doing their due diligence to make decisions that benefit both their subordinate team and the organization.
Managers can also use key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the overall success of their team. These KPIs should be in alignment with the company’s goals to act as a measuring stick for employee performance. They are another way to gather quantifiable data that could influence workplace decisions.
For example, a specific KPI could be an employee needing to do a certain number of sales calls. If sales goals aren’t met, managers can refer to the sales calls logged by individual employees. They make sure the necessary effort is going into gaining new clients and possibly even see who is landing new clients and who is not.
7: Holding Routine Strategy Meetings
A good way to make sure all employees make progress toward collective and individual goals is to regularly hold meetings with individuals and groups. This keeps all team members in communication and up to date on the proper priorities for both individuals and the team.
These meetings are meant to facilitate a meaningful exchange of ideas, successes, goals, and even frustrations brought up by employees. When managers hold these meetings, they create space for good strategizing and communication within the team. This helps the team to stay in alignment with their coworkers and the overall company vision.
8: Leading through Example
Even as a manager, you need to act like the kind of employee you need your team members to be. Employees follow the example you set as a member of an organization, whether it’s your attitude or your motivation. Managers should be willing to climb into the trenches with their employees and get work done.
This is what “leading by example” looks like:
- Show up to work on time
- Own up to your mistakes
- Prioritize your deadlines
- Ask for help when needed
- Offer to do the gritty work
- Keep a positive attitude even under stress
Meeting employees on their level in these ways makes them respect their manager more for doing so. They are then more likely to respond well to both positive and negative feedback from their superiors.
9: Being Vulnerable
Managers who acknowledge their vulnerability to their team members are often seen as more relatable and have more respect from their subordinates. Vulnerability as a team leader gives your employees unspoken permission to be vulnerable with you.
Manager approachability is also known as an “open management style” or an “open door policy.” This results in problems being brought to light sooner and getting resolved faster. Open-door policies also result in more opportunities to cultivate positive connections with other team members.
10: Setting Realistic Goals
Making sure team goals are realistic for employees helps to maintain good morale. When goals are realistic, employees have no problem achieving them by putting forth the right amount of effort – not too little and not too much.
While goals that are “too easy” are also, technically, achievable, they create employee boredom or even complacency, which results in reduced quality of performance. Goals that are too hard cause burnout and chip away at an employee’s confidence.
A realistic goal still makes employees feel as though they have to work for it. They won’t necessarily have to over-perform to achieve it, but they still take pride in their accomplishments once they do.
Organizations truly thrive when they employ management staff who are well-versed in effective management practices. Good managers inspire and motivate employees to perform to the best of their ability and help cultivate good morale and effective teams. Using good management practices helps foster success from the ground up within an organization and should therefore be prioritized when developing leaders in the workplace.