Without top-quality managers with the right skill set to lead, an organization will often struggle to succeed. Managers affect so many aspects of an organization, and when a manager is ineffective, the impact can be very negative and often detrimental. But when management is successful, the impact is positive and can drive a company to success. Good management has a direct effect on employee engagement, productivity, growth, and development. Bad managers, on the other hand, often create a dictatorship that means s negative environment, high turnover rates, and difficulty motivating and retaining employees. Most of us have had an experience with a great manager, and we’ve also had an experience with a bad one, so it’s the detrimental effects that negative management can have are fairly obvious. As is the positive impact of good leadership.
A good manager does more than just improve employee performance through motivation, they also have the ability to improve entire teams by helping individual employees hone their best strengths. They can offer valuable feedback, drive productivity, and they can be an inspiration to employees. But not every manager is effective because not all managers are created equal. Some managers have the right skills and minds to lead an organization to success. But what are those skills?
Desired Skills for Effective Management
One of the key things that a good manager needs to have is their ability to lead people. Many managers receive a promotion to a management position because of high job performance, but good performance in a particular area doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re meant to lead others. Good management requires good power skills and excellent people skills. Power skills have nothing to do with how a manager works, but more importantly, how they collaborate. Often these skills require emotional intelligence, tact, empathy, and a great ear for listening.
It’s also important that they have a mindset that bolsters coaching and development within the team. Micromanaging isn’t the answer here, it’s all about empowering employees to do better intrinsically. Furthermore, clear communication and expectations, as well as a consistent source of feedback, are critical. Managers who have these qualities, or are trained to have these qualities, are much better equipped to support their team and help them succeed. It will also foster an environment where employees feel motivated, inspired, and safe to speak up when they have a problem.
But that’s not all, there are a number of other important qualities that a manager should have. They should be honest because a manager who is caught being untruthful with their team will immediately lose trust and things will fall apart quickly. Trusting management is critical for employees and they won’t trust a manager who isn’t honest with them.
Decisiveness and confidence are also critical. When employees are looking up to a manager to make important decisions, they’re going to be caught off guard if the manager is indecisive or lacks the confidence to make difficult calls. Often, management requires making tough decisions that employees might not agree with, and managers need to be confident and decisive about those decisions in order to rally their team behind them and move forward.
Lastly, optimism tends to be a critical skill for an effective manager to have. If the person in charge of a team is constantly negative, that negativity is going to seep directly into the employees that they manage. Negativity can spread like a virus in an organization, so it’s critical that the person in charge has an optimistic outlook. Furthermore, let’s face it, work can be frustrating from time to time. A manager who isn’t optimistic is more likely to express their frustrations or issues with employees. This only brings the entire team down and makes a bad situation far worse.
Creating and Developing an Effective Manager
One of the most impactful things that a company can do is to put a lot of focus and resources into leadership development. Before you can have a manager that is effective in their role, they need to be set up for success. Without the proper resources that they require to manage effectively, they aren’t going to be able to have beneficial effects on employees or do their job properly. Proper tools and resources for managers might include ongoing professional training or ensuring that they have all of the structure and tools required for the day-to-day workings of the job. In turn, if a manager can’t provide employees with the tools that they need to be successful, there are going to be ongoing issues. Employees will get understandably frustrated if they aren’t set up for success and a lack of resources creates a barrier for them to do their job properly.
Never forget that management experience does not a good manager make. Many companies fall into the trap of thinking that someone who has years of management experience under their belt will undoubtedly be a great manager. But that isn’t necessarily true. They could have years of poor management experience, where they’ve done nothing but upset employees or drive an organization into the ground. Of course, there’s always the opportunity to turn a manager around or develop a manager from the ground up with proper training and implementation of tools and resources. But bear in mind that, no matter how much experience a manager claims to have, they still require support and a good foundational structure. Without these things, they will not be properly equipped to effectively guide their team.
Manager training, implementation of succession plans, as well as coaching and mentoring for managers themselves are something that every organization should allocate funds to. A manager who has the skillset to lead people but doesn’t have the proper training and structure to flourish won’t develop into an effective manager. Poor management will ultimately mean that employees and teams don’t have what they need to reach their full potential and succeed. Emphasizing how important power skills are and providing them with tools and resources are some of the best things you can do for managers. Never stop developing your managers either, there’s always more to learn.