Author: J Samuel
Most managers are expected to make the leap from non-management roles to management gurus overnight. As soon as the ‘team leader’ or ‘manager’ label is printed on a person’s business cards we assume they should know all the rules to management. Wrong.
The fact that thousands of managers undertake management courses each year demonstrates how difficult management is, and how fundamental educational programs are in turning today’s subordinates into tomorrow’s leaders.
Personality, work experience and personal values will influence a person’s style of management and it’s almost guaranteed that an employee, at some stage, will disagree with a manager’s decision or action. However, learning the skills of management will reduce the number of disagreements, train the manager to deal with these situations positively, and provide the foundations for a positive working environment, thus increasing employee morale and reducing staff turnover
Many online organizatiosn offer a range of accredited courses from introductory level right through to their senior executive management course which provides participants with a Certificate 5 in Management and Leadership from the CMI.
If you’re not ready to take up studies just yet, here are some helpful dos and don’ts of management below.
Listening to your staff is the golden rule of management. The moment you stop listening is the moment you lose control of the quality and efficiency of output from your staff. Managers who improved procedures and improved employee loyalty are those managers who listened to their staff. Of course it is imperative that listening is followed by taking action, otherwise employees will decide it’s futile to talk to management in the first place.
Highly engaged employees are those employees who feel involved in company decisions and who receive a high degree of communication from management. Even during redundancies, surveys reveal greater positivism towards a company when management keeps employees well informed.
Managers make the common mistake of thinking salary is the primary influencer in job satisfaction, however, happier employees are those who are learning on the job and rising to new challenges. Pass down some of your knowledge and expertise and you will realize that to educate is to motivate.
Voicing negative opinions towards the company amongst your team will only deflate morale and incite apathy in the workplace. No matter your attitude, try to maintain a positive front.
For some manager’s, especially those perfectionists, the hardest task is delegating. Trust in your team in they will rise to the challenge – you can always control from a distance. Refusing to train and develop your staff will only force them to seek new goals elsewhere.
Manage in line with corporate culture
Employees choose a company based on the corporate culture and what ideals and institutions the brand represents. Managing against corporate culture will not only risk relationships with other departments, but disappoint employees who were sold a different dream.
Praise in public
Give credit when credit is due, and make it known to others that you were pleased with an employee’s efforts. They more an employee feels values, they more loyal they are to the business.
Admit that you don’t know everything or that you were wrong
A good manager will admit they don’t have all the answers or that they made a mistake rather than providing misinformation, blaming someone else or avoiding responsibility. Respect will come when respect is earned.
Time, patience and empathy are the key traits of an approachable manager, and equal amounts of all three will guarantee that employees voice concerns rather than hand in their notice.
There isn’t necessarily just one way to achieve a goal, and each employee will have particular assets that another employee may not. Allow employees the freedom to use their strengths to achieve a task in the manner that works for them. Ask for updates but don’t micromanage.
Discuss the performance of other colleagues
Your thoughts about an employee’s performance should only be discussed with that employee. Loose lips create a culture of gossip and mistrust and will only alienate you from your staff.
Reprimand in public
A public dressing down equals humiliation and loss of confidence, neither of wish are conducive to a happy and productive working environment.
Say one thing and then do another
Lead by example and you will maintain authority, but say one thing and do another and you will lose respect.
The best teams thrive in an environment of equality. As soon as you play favourites the team dynamic falters.
Pass accountability onto subordinates
At the end of the day you are responsible for your team, so pointing the finger of blame will only make you less approachable.
Assume that all employees will be motivated by the same incentives
Don’t apply the same logic to all your employees, some will be motivated by money, some by status, some by personal values and others by recognition. A bonus, a new job title, a charity day or employee of the month will be received differently depending on the individual’s motivators.
The best way to become a better manager is take a management course, listen to your employees and recall those incidents, both good and bad, that defined your managers as either inspiring leaders or the reason you quit your job.
About the Author
Julie Samuel is an euthastic freelance writer and ex-HR professional who enjoys researching a variety of business-related topics. She is particularly interested in training courses.