Whether you’ve been in management for decades or have just been promoted recently, you should always strive to improve your skills and get the best work possible from your team. If you want to encourage others, you need to set an example of excellence. Here are five tools you can use to up your game as a manager, boost productivity and keep your employees smiling.
1. Get rid of rigid attitudes and be open to change.
The employees you manage are often the people who notice where change is needed. They will likely come to you with ideas for streamlining processes or saving the company time, money or both. Take the time to listen and, if possible, implement the ideas or pass them up the managerial ladder to the appropriate people. Resisting change will not only give you a bad reputation, it can lead to embarrassment if an employee goes over your head with their idea or strategy. This can look especially bad if it works and will save resources. Don’t let it happen. Make time to listen.
2. Make sure your employees know what you expect.
Their last boss may have wanted the paperwork filed chronologically instead of alphabetically, or had strange requirements for email correspondence. You never know what goals, rules or policies the previous manager may have put into place, so it pays to make your expectations clear to them. This will help get rid of any confusion and increase productivity. Your employees will also be happy to be given clear and concise directions, making them more likely to do as you ask.
3. Don’t be afraid of conflict.
Some people naturally shy away from confrontation and will do anything to avoid it. However, as a manager, this is not a good idea. If one of your employees is disgruntled, you need to find out why. You may need to have open and honest discussion if someone is not performing his or her job properly or if a policy has been broken. While you don’t want to be rude or brusque, you do need to know how to face conflict head-on, discuss it professionally and move toward an amicable resolution.
4. Assign work in chunks, if at all possible.
For some employees, having a large project dumped onto their desk is paralyzing. They may not understand how to break it down and get mired in the details. Worse, they may try to forge forward with the work without understanding what end result is expected. If you have a large project you need accomplished, break it down into smaller chunks. Explain the whole project first so that your employee is not working blind. Then assign the first chunk. This will help keep the project moving along at a proper speed without overwhelming your employees.
5. Attend leadership team development classes.
Not only will these leadership team development classes give you dozens of smart managing tips, they will allow you to meet other managers from all industries and see how they manage their people. It’s up to you to seek out these individual quirks and apply the ones that will work for you to create a cohesive managing style.
You may have become a manager in one day, but it will take time for you to become an effective and fair leader. Remember that managers give direction, not directions. You are there to lead the employees, so integrate these tips into your managing style and see what comes to fruition.