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Become a better manager in five Steps

In a recent survey by Ultimate Software and the Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK), 80% of employees said they could do their jobs without their managers. So, the pressure is on!

Whether you are new to management or a seasoned pro, being a good manager takes time, experience and development. It can be a demanding job that needs time, effort, and responsibility. But it is a rewarding one.

As a manager, your job is to guide your team, make important decisions, and keep open-minded and flexible.

What makes a good manager?

Good managers are good delegators. They distribute tasks to their team and ensure that their time is used well for management issues and essential tasks. Good managers are also great communicators, active listeners, and supporters. The good news is that these are traits you can develop.

Why is good management important?

Effective management is essential in every business. A good manager can make a difference in

  • how happy their team is
  • how productive their team is
  • employee turnover and retention
  • absenteeism

This all contributes to the success of the business and maybe even your bonus.

Five Tips for Becoming a Better Manager

There’s no one plan to follow, as your unique skills, personality, and experiences will guide you to a management style to develop.

  • Develop your Emotional Intelligence (EI)

EI is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. A good manager should be resilient and aware of how their mood and attitude affect others. Being calm under pressure and able to cope well with change doesn’t come easy to everyone. Developing your EI leads to better collaboration, relationships, and communication.

Advice: To build your EI and use it at work, make time for open conversations with your team. Encourage feedback to create a feeling of safety. Recognise each employee's qualities and assign work that complements their specific skills. Help your team feel empowered by recognising their ideas and work.

  • Be Positive to Motivate Others

A team looks to a manager to set the tone and attitude. Positivity can be contagious, and it’s up to leaders to set an example and maintain a positive atmosphere to keep team morale high. This helps keep people happy, engaged, and productive. Although success looks different to different employees, a good manager understands what this means for each person in their team.

Advice: Get to know your team. Some employees love recognition, while others don’t need praise but value incentives or perks. Know what it takes to get each team member to succeed as an individual.

  • Be Trustworthy and Transparent

Trust is the foundation for any relationship, and having trust in bosses is essential to workplace satisfaction. Nearly all professionals surveyed in a recent Ultimate Software and the Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) study said that having trust in their bosses was essential to workplace satisfaction. While 80% of managers said they think they’re transparent with their teams, only 55% of employees agreed. Every team member needs to trust their manager’s words and actions.

Advice: Managers need to openly and honestly communicate with their team. Effective managers also need to trust their team and not micromanage.

  • Develop your Decision-making Skills

As a manager, you are responsible for making decisions that affect the team. To avoid conflicts, communicate and inform your team of important decisions, especially if they will affect their work or home lives. Give explanations and context for your decisions. Your team will appreciate the transparency, and it’s crucial to building trust.

Advice: Use frameworks and exercises to develop your decision-making skills. Try different methods and models, including Six-Hats Thinking or the Ladder of InferenceLearn what works best for your team and you.

  • Take Control of Your Personal Development

From in-house, online, or external training programmes to podcasts, management resources are available for all stages of your career in management.

To be a good manager, you need to be a continuous learner, always striving to become a better leader. Even senior managers take time to develop their skills and take the time to develop personally and professionally. If you need support in your management role, see if your company offers mentoring or coaching.

Take a course, talk to other managers in different companies and industries to get ideas or insight, or use resources such as podcasts, blogs, and books.

Advice: The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo gives you the tools and insights to grow into a successful manager. With the tagline, What to Do When Everyone Looks to You, the book is a Wall Street Journal bestseller. The key theme is that great managers are made, not born.

Whether you're new to the job, have been a manager for years, or want to be promoted to a management role in the future, these tips will help you develop and grow as a people manager. Looking for your next management role? Speak to Meraki Talent today.

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