Five ways to become a better manager

Even experienced managers can find it challenging to effectively manage a team, especially if a business has taken on new staff or is going through a period of change.

People management is often deemed as a ‘soft’ skill set, however, in the business world, its importance cannot be stressed enough.

It is easy to learn simple techniques, insights and approaches necessary to become a more effective manager. A successful manager is one who can get the most from their team, earning their respect in the process. The following are five areas to prioritise for success: 

1. Trust your team

To build respect, you need to show that you trust the people that you have hired. Trust your team and they will reward you with productivity, loyalty and that all-important extra 10%. 

Show that you trust your team by giving them the space and freedom necessary to do their job. You can achieve a balance by setting clear parameters, but offering additional benefits such as flexible working hours. 

2. Take responsibility when things go wrong

Mistakes happen in business all of the time, and a good manager will always take responsibility, regardless as to whether it was directly their fault or the fault of someone in their team. Employees trust and respect managers who recognise that the role of management is to know what the team is doing and how they are doing it. 

When managers own up to mistakes, their team may feel doubly-inclined to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen again. Take responsibility when in the wrong and apologise, fix the problem and seek to pre-empt the same scenario in the future. 

3. Don’t distract your team

Some managers are guilty of scheduling too many meetings. Avoid being the type of manager who stops productive employees from delivering their objectives by distracting them in this way. Implement a regular recurring slot for a team brief, perhaps weekly or fortnightly. Have an open-door policy or a regular time slot in which your team can see you, and when required, schedule one-on-one sessions with employees. 

4. Provide detailed feedback

Great managers take the time to give productive, constructive and detailed feedback to their teams. Show your investment in your people by doing this and, again, arrange one-to-one sessions as and when appropriate. Offer constructive advice, plenty of praise and opportunities to develop, setting SMART targets that help your employees to reach their full potential.

5. Invest in employee development

Investing in your staff’s development is an easy way to help them feel fulfilled and engaged. Look for creative means of offering development, from internal projects with other employees through to mentoring and volunteering. Training and development doesn’t always need to take the shape of a formal academic course. 

Everybody learns differently. Therefore, in order to achieve maximum buy-in from your team, make sure to offer a broad range of training and development opportunities.

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