Bad managers cost businesses billions of dollars each year. According to Gallup, managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores across business units. Gallup also discovered that great managers tend to share the following traits: motivational, assertive, accountable, transparent, and makes decisions based on productivity, not politics. As a manager, your success depends on both your and other people's efforts. To get the optimal performance from your team members and be the best manager you can be, follow these 7 tips:
1. Focus on team building
While you'll be relating to each of your employees as individuals, you also need to be aware of the fine art of team building. Your staff will be most productive when they mesh well together and have a strong identity as being part of the same team.
2. Work on your communication skills
Clear messaging is a fundamental piece of your management skill set. Focus on what you want your direct reports to hear, and keep in mind that people have varying styles of processing information.
3. Ask for feedback
The best managers are always in conversation with the people they're supervising. Asking for feedback helps you avoid becoming isolated, makes you aware of problems before they become critical, and opens the door for innovative new ideas.
4. Set high standards
The best way to elicit great performance from your team is to be clear about your high expectations. Of course, expecting excellence must always go hand-in-hand with providing your staff with all the resources and support they need while holding yourself to the same high standards.
5. Delegate effectively
One hallmark of inexperienced leadership is a reluctance to delegate crucial tasks. You can't produce optimum results if you micromanage or maintain control of every single function. Prepare your team well for a project and then let them run with it; you'll be more relaxed and you'll achieve more in the end.
6. Avoid inter-department conflicts
The agility that characterizes today's most effective organizations often requires improvisation and free-form cooperation between different departments. You can facilitate this flexibility by maintaining good relationships with your colleagues in different departments while clearly articulating areas of accountability.
7. Recognize and appreciate your employees
Employee engagement, productivity and retention all depend to a high degree on the human sense of being appreciated. Make sure that your direct reports are not included in the 53% of employees who don't feel recognized for their achievements at work. Monetary and social approaches can both be part of an effective system of rewards and recognition.
Management excellence is learned, not innate. When you integrate these time-tested tips into your management tool kit, you'll not only reach your productivity goals sooner, but you'll also nurture a positive workplace culture. By focusing on becoming a better manager, you will build better work relationships, boost employee happiness, and produce stronger business results.