Managers are responsible for leading their team, ensuring deliverables are met, and keeping employee morale high. When these responsibilities are properly fulfilled, it can lead to a significant increase in profits for an organisation. As such, the overall success of a company greatly hinges on the performance of its managers.
With that said, becoming a great manager takes time and effort. You’ll need to adopt the right mindset and practices, then apply them every day until they become second nature. Of course, there’s no right or wrong way of doing this since every organisation has its own management style. Your learning process will ultimately be shaped by your company’s expectations. However, there are a few versatile tips that have proven to be effective for many managers.
To learn more, below are five simple ways to improve your managerial skills:
Engage with Your Employees
Good managers must keep their team members engaged at all times. After all, employees who are motivated and satisfied with their jobs are more likely to perform well. But what does true engagement look like? It actually has a lot to do with listening to your team members and forming genuine connections with them. In other words, proper communication is key.
Be transparent with your team when you’re sharing information. If they have any concerns or ideas, be sure to listen carefully. Let them take part in decision-making processes by giving them the opportunity to provide their own ideas or raise questions. This ensures that members feel valued and heard.
Lastly, try to get to know each of your direct reports, both professionally and personally. Schedule sessions where you can discuss their interests, career goals, and suggestions. If your company has a remote work setup, video conferencing can be an effective way to start meaningful conversations, as it can recreate the experience of face-to-face interactions.
Establish Clear Goals
Goals guide your team by providing them with a concrete action plan for every project. This is why it’s vital that you set clear goals from the beginning. Make sure deliverables are specific, measurable, achievable, and timely. If you have large and complex tasks, try to break them down into smaller and more actionable ones.
Don’t forget to remind your team of these goals on a regular basis, as this will help them stay on track. It’s also a good way of measuring the progress of each project. Remember, when team members know what’s expected of them and why they need to fulfil these expectations, they gain a deeper sense of purpose. This, in turn, can increase their focus and motivation.
Hone Your Decision-Making Skills
Skilled managers are expected to make sound decisions on a daily basis. Good decision-making involves three factors: quality, executability, and timeliness. In order to assess the quality of a decision, you’ll need to compare it with other alternatives and analyse the root of the problem. Afterwards, you’ll have to consider the decision’s executability. It’s important that your team fully supports the decision, as this increases its chances of being executed properly. Finally, you’ll need to ensure that the decision is timely. It shouldn’t be made too late or too early, but rather at the appropriate time.
Delegate Tasks to the Appropriate People
The best leaders know how to maximise the strengths of their team members. This means delegating tasks to the right people. The requirements of a task should match the capabilities and resources of the team member you’re delegating it to. This ensures they’ll be completed as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Proper task delegation also empowers your direct reports by giving them the opportunity to problem-solve and think creatively on their own terms. However, you should still be available to answer any questions or concerns they may have along the way.
Regularly Give and Receive Feedback
Great managers always give their team members—and themselves—room to grow. Providing regular feedback is one of the best ways to help you and your team improve as professionals. As such, be sure to make time for frequent and informal feedback sessions, even before formal performance reviews.
Keep your feedback specific and actionable. Rather than saying “good work,” try to highlight the particular areas a team member excelled in. This way, they’ll know which behaviours and practices to maintain. The same applies to any weaknesses you might’ve observed.
No one is perfect, which is why good managers also encourage feedback on their own performance from team members and trusted co-workers. When receiving your performance input, be sure to listen openly. Ask for particular situations in the past where you exhibited certain strengths or weaknesses as a manager. Be receptive to input and advice, and don’t forget to take the time to reflect on them. This way, you can find the best ways to improve your performance.
It takes a lot of effort to effectively lead a group of individuals. However, with proper goal-setting, decision-making, delegation, and communication skills, you’ll soon be taking your team to new heights. As long as you’re willing to keep learning and honing your skills, you can certainly unlock your full potential as a manager.