The most valuable asset of any business, regardless of industry or the size of that organisation, is its employees. With this in mind, getting the most out of your workforce should be a critical priority for every firm, with the bulk of responsibility in this area falling on management. So, what makes a good manager? Here are some of the key ingredients:
Knowing when you might be asking too much of your employees is critical in ensuring they don’t succumb to stress and anxiety. You should be sensitive to the pressures they face both in and out of work, and offer support where you can. Sometimes, even a simple “How are you doing?” can be enough to open dialogue that can then help you identify what would make their job easier improve their productivity – although make sure you take the time to actually listen to what they have to say.
As a manager, it is only natural that from time to time you may be required to resolve internal conflict. But what is the best way to deal with this? Try to address any issues at the earliest possible opportunity to stop the situation from escalating. Acting fairly and consistently can be easier said than done, but the sign of a good manager is when both aggrieved parties leave a dispute feeling satisfied with the result.
Your employees need to know what is required of them and when they need to up their level of performance. Equally, you should verbally recognise when they have performed well. Ask yourself: Do you give regular feedback to your workforce? Do you set aside time to speak to members of the team on a one-to-one basis? It’s important that you are approachable as a manager. If not, then it’s much harder to do your job effectively.
In order to get the most out of your employees, you need to get them into the mindset that they are not limited to what they can do by their job title. How often do you involve workers in brainstorming sessions that will affect the business, or encourage them to participate in decision-making? One of the most effective ways of showing personnel that you value them is asking their opinion – breaking down the barriers between management and the shop floor and demonstrating that what they have to say matters.
Lead by example
Finally, a good manager is a great role model. It’s a cliche, but you really should be treating others how you would expect them to treat you. Respect is a two-way street and treating people with consideration is a simple way to maintain a harmonious relationship across the workforce. Similarly, you can’t expect to be able to command a position of authority if you are constantly behaving in an off-task manner or flapping around the office when things get hectic. Lead by example, and others will undoubtedly follow your behaviour. Are you ticking all of these boxes as a manager? If you want to hone your management skills, check out what courses we have coming up over the next few weeks and months.