Everyone wants to be the best leader. In this article, we take you through key elements that will ensure that you are being a good manager. Let’s get into it!
We will cover eight essential steps to being a good manager, and give you the tools to do just that.
Set clear goals
To ensure a team’s productivity, part of being a good manager involves setting clear goals. According to research, setting challenging and specific goals for a team can lead to higher performance. These goals need to align with the overall goals of the company to be effective. This ensures that everyone in the company is working towards the same outcome.
When setting goals for your team, it is important to ensure that your team understands their work’s impact on the overall bigger picture. This means educating them on the company’s business strategies and goals.
To successfully set goals:
Identify what you want to achieve
Before communicating your goals to your team, think about why you want to set the specific goals and what you want to achieve. This includes considering the implication of your goals and how they benefit the organisation.
Ensure you have a way of keeping track and evaluating the progress to know whether the goal will have the outcome you hope for,
Set goals on the team level
Start setting goals for your team, ensuring they are challenging and meaningful. This will help the team to work together as a unit to reach the goals. The goals you set should further be broken down to individual levels to ensure every teammate is working on a part of the project towards the final goal.
Once you have identified your goals, ensure you write them down, as this increases the chances of achieving them by 80%.
Allow your teammates to set their own goals
Once you have determined the goals for your team, give your team members the freedom to create their own smaller goals to help them achieve the goals you have set. You can avail yourself to offer support when developing their goals.
Having a deadline is the best way of ensuring accountability for the team. Goals without deadlines rarely serve their purpose, which affects growth. Setting deadlines ensures your team takes the goals seriously to meet the targets.
All goals should be measurable and tangible for progress to be achieved. Tracking progress helps the team to remain motivated since they can see progress whenever a deadline is crushed and get closer to completing the project.
Improve your work-life balance
As a manager, achieving the perfect work-life balance can be a challenge. However, part of being a good manager involves mastering the ability to switch off from your work roles and make time for your personal life.
This is an effective way of dealing with stress and preventing job burnout. A work-life balance also ensures you are able to put in the required weekly hours to maximum productivity.
Learning how to achieve work-life balance is especially important for managers who work from home. You need to invest in the best working from home essentials to create a conducive work environment at home.
- Some of the ways you can achieve work-life balance include:
- Create a daily to-do list with priority tasks for the week and segment them into daily tasks that can be achieved within normal working hours.
- Schedule some personal time and stick to the schedule
- Create an ideal workspace for you
- Include a form of exercise in your schedule
- Schedules for breaks in your schedule
Communication skills are the most important
Effective communication is an important part of being a good manager. When you have an effective communication channel, you are able to maintain a good working relationship with your team. It is therefore important to ensure there is a smooth flow of communication within the team.
Use forms of digital communication
Consider using digital communication and project management tools like Zoom, Skype, ClickUp, and Asana to make communication and collaboration easier within the team.
With an integrated digital communication platform, you ensure that your team is up to date with ongoing projects, including access to progress reports and schedules. The best digital communication tool should offer an excellent employee experience.
One-on-one meetings with coworkers
While digital communication technology makes communication easier within the team, one-on-one meetings with coworkers should still be encouraged. As a manager, it is important to schedule one-on-one meetings once or twice a week. If you manage a remote team, you can schedule online meetings at least once a week to ensure team members meet regularly.
It is also important to schedule a one-on-one meeting between you and the employees. This will help you understand how they are coping with their roles on a personal level. Take time to find out how each employee feels about their job, co-workers, and you as a manager.
You should also take an interest in their challenges and try to find a solution. It is also important to know whether your employees are happy with their job and find ways to make things better for them.
When your team feels valued, they become better at their job, which boosts productivity and makes managing them easier.
Do not avoid problems
To be a good manager, you need to be willing to face problems head-on instead of avoiding them or tiptoeing around them. Facing problems head-on allows you space to come up with lasting solutions before the issue gets out of hand.
Being a good manager means that you have to come up with solutions for the company’s benefit. Sometimes the solutions may be uncomfortable but must be implemented.
As a manager, it is your responsibility to find solutions and equip your team with relevant problem-solving skills. This way, they are able to solve the minor issues amongst themselves and leave the major ones to you.
Make your own decisions
Decision-making is an important part of effective management. As a team leader, you need to have the capacity to make your own decision outside of surrounding influences. To ensure you practice effective decision-making, you need to assess the issue at hand thoroughly to achieve the intended results.
You can follow this step by step framework for effective decision making:
Define the issue – talk to the players involved to get a clear idea of the issue at hand. Ensure you look at the situation from different angles to ensure you fully understand it. Taking time to understand the scenario is important for effective decision-making.
Review the information – when assessing the issue, ensure you gather as much related information as possible. You can delegate data collection to your team members if you are dealing with a larger decision. The members you assign the task to should be knowledgeable on the subject to know the information to look for.
Evaluate the options – before you settle on a final decision, you should consider the pros and cons of each decision to determine the best route for success.
Decide on a course of action – with all data gathered and analysed, you need to develop a specific, clear, and actionable plan.
Implement the plan – ensure you communicate with the team on your decision and listen to their concerns and questions.
Adjust for the future – your course of action will require changes and re-orientation for better implementation in the future. Take note of what works and what does not to tweak the plan for better decision-making in the future.
Welcome new ideas and approaches
A lot of managers are often cautious when it comes to taking risks and implementing new methods or techniques. This is because they know they are on the hook if the new strategy does not work out. However, being a good manager requires you to take risks. Be open to welcoming new ideas and trying new methods.
For any company to grow, it requires taking controlled risks. The best-performing companies have managers who are open to change, flexible, and adaptable to change. To make your company succeed, you need to be a leader with interest in new ideas.
Take your time to listen to any ideas the team members come up with, as they may be ideal for the project to run more smoothly. Listening to your employees is an excellent way of boosting their morale and making them feel valued. This can go a long way in employee retention and company growth.
Show gratitude and recognition for your team
Recognition and a show of gratitude from the management and co-workers is an excellent way of making employees happier and more productive. Every member of the team wants their efforts to be noticed and appreciated, which is the manager’s role.
Take your time to appreciate your subordinates whenever they achieve a milestone or help in problem-solving. Simple shows of gratitude like saying thank you or well done can go a long way for a team. It is an excellent way of motivating the team.
Ensure you acknowledge a job well done.
Remember to delegate
Generally, there are three types of managers:
- Managers who do everything
- Managers who do nothing
- Managers who are strategic about delegating
To be a good manager, you must strive to become the third type of manager. Delegating requires you to understand individual members of the team, including their talents, capabilities, and strengths. This way, you can delegate tasks based on individual capabilities to ensure they are completed perfectly.
To guarantee the successful allocation of tasks:
- Take time to clearly understand the task
- Figure out who from your team is the best fit for the task
- Conform that the team member you choose understand the task
- Understand the expertise level of the employee with relation to the task
- Consider putting more than one team member on a task when necessary
Being a good manager is all about handling your role as a team leader with the highest level of responsibility. As a good manager, you need to have the ability to deliver projects while ensuring you remain in control of your team.
This can be achieved by cultivating happiness in the workplace and encouraging your team members to become better versions of themselves.
Implementing the steps highlighted in this post can go a long way in helping you to become a better manager for your team and organisation.
About the Author
Lidia S. Hovhan is a part of the Content and Marketing team at OmnicoreAgency. She contributes articles about how to integrate digital marketing strategy with traditional marketing to help business owners to meet their online goals. You can find really professional insights in her writings.