- 9 Areas for Improvement to Being a Good Manager
- 1. Hone Your Motivational Skills
- 2. Communicate More & Effectively
- 3. Gratitude and Recognition Go a Long Way
- 4. Set Clear Goals
- 5. Don’t Be A Hypocrite
- 6. One-on-One Meetings Are Important
- 7. Delegate
- 8. Welcome New Ideas and Approaches
- 9. Don’t Avoid Problems
- Wrapping Up Our Tips on Being a Better Manager
- 3 Ways to Be a Better Leader While Also Being a Boss
- Get to know your team.
- Put yourself on mute.
- Take a lesson from your best teachers.
- Management Intervention: 3 Ways to be a Better Boss
- 1. Put One-on-Ones on the Calendar
- 2. Stop Using Band-Aids
- 3. Help Your Employees Trust You
- Photo of employee and manager courtesy of Shutterstock
- 3 Simple Ways to Be a Better Boss
- Communication is key
- Recognize your employees' strengths
- Understand the demographics in your office
9 Areas for Improvement to Being a Good Manager
Gallup reported that one two employees will leave their job just to “get away” from their boss. The WBI U.S.
Workplace Bullying Survey found that passive-aggressive managers make up around 61% of workplace bullies.
Another surprising find is that employees stated low engagement was a top reason for leaving and that their relationship with their immediate manager was directly correlated to their engagement levels.
Judging by this data, managers can be a direct cause of motivation or frustration in the workplace. The choice lies solely with you on being a good leader.
Most managers are not just born into leadership roles, instead, good leaders make great managers for one key reason – they understand the golden ticket to effective management and success is having a solid relationship with his/her employees. Knowing that nothing can happen without a solid team is the first step to being a better manager.
Apart from recognizing these leadership faults, technology can play a huge part in overcoming these hurdles. In particular, employee management apps help keep everyone on the same page, celebrate success, offer recognition and so much more. With Connecteam’s employee management app, you and your team can do it all under one roof.
In this free eBook, we highlight everything you need to effectively manage your remote employees. From communication tips to engagement ideas and more, this guide is filled with all the information needed to make remote work a success.
Download eBook for free
Now we know that no one is perfect, and there are always areas of improvement for managers. Changes may not happen overnight but with steady work and patience, you can lead your team to great heights. We highlight nine examples of poor leadership and how you can fix them.
9 Tips on Being a Better Manager
1. Hone Your Motivational Skills
Motivating your employees isn’t always the easiest task but it is crucial. As a manager, this is one skill you need to sharpen on a regular basis. With high employee morale, there is an increase in productivity and efficiency in the workplace. This leads employees to enjoy the atmosphere and company culture while being driven to work more efficiently and productively.
In order to motivate your team, and regularly, you need to foster a positive work environment and build a company culture that helps encourage employee morale so you can avoid drones from clocking in and out every day.
2. Communicate More & Effectively
Communication should be a two-way street. Your company isn’t a dictatorship so your voice isn’t the only one that should be heard. To really motivate your team and increase productivity, you need to listen to what your employees have to say.
Managers who are not good listeners lose good employees.
Bad managers speak more than they listen. When you’re the loudest voice in the room, it’s easy to forget that you hired a bunch of smart people that are more qualified to do their jobs than you are. Managers sometimes consider employee silence to be an indicator of agreement or an absence of ideas.
However, employee silence is more ly due to feeling uncomfortable speaking. Perhaps they don’t want to interrupt a manager who leaves little room for others to speak, or they think their idea will go over poorly, or they don’t want to point out flaws in a manager’s plan. – Dave Lane, CEO of Inventiv
How to be a good manager in regards to communication? Give your employees a platform to be heard, they may have some amazing ideas about how to improve customer satisfaction, better the delivery time, a new marketing slogan, and more. Your employees are right in the thick of it every day so make sure you’re using your greatest asset.
Connecteam hosts a suggestion box so your employees can submit ideas, opinions, frustrations, and more whenever the situation arises.
Share positive announcements about the company, such as developing a new product or a glowing customer review. Your employees are human beings so treat them as such by looping them into matters that may affect them directly.
Check-in with them to understand how they’re getting on:
- How do you feel about your job/manager/co-workers?
- Are you up against any challenges? How can I help?
- Are you happy at work? How can I help?
Connecteam makes it easy to send a private chat or you can send a company-wide survey and watch the results pour in real-time.
Reach every team member with targeted and measurable communication. Engage your team never before, reflect your company’s culture, and solidify your employer branding with Connecteam’s communication and engagement app.
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3. Gratitude and Recognition Go a Long Way
Employees really appreciate genuine and specific recognition from managers, senior management, and coworkers. They feel great in their job role and feel appreciated which leads to a happier, more productive employee – which only means a better bottom line.
Think about it, there are some employees out there who work in a job that doesn’t pay that great and the role itself might be mundane but they stay because they love their manager and their coworkers.
Being a good manager means knowing that gratitude and recognition go a long way.
Never underestimate how powerful saying “Thank you” or “Well done,” to an employee really is. It’s a great motivator, sometimes even more than a pay raise or promotion.
Acknowledge a job well done publicly either in a speech, a quick word at the end of a meeting or send a company-wide message with Connecteam.
4. Set Clear Goals
Your employees can only do their best work if they have clear goals to follow.
“As leaders, it’s up to you to provide a clear but succinct picture of the vision and desired outcomes for the team and the organization. People connect to a project or task much easier if they know where it’s headed.
Don’t keep them in the dark … Determine what information is important and then provide clear instructions and expectations to set them up for success – not failure,” Keisha A.
Rivers, founder and chief outcome facilitator of The KARS Group Ltd.
It is vital that managers effectively delegate both the responsibility for completing the task and the authority required to get the job done. Whatever you do, don’t micromanage and control every little thing.
Simply assign the task and trust that your team will get the job done. This is the only way you can ensure that your employees are confident in their skills to complete the task at hand.
It’s vital that you and your employees create realistic goals together. Being a good manager means being totally transparent in what you expect from them and discussing what’s the best way to go about completing the task. Only then will you and your employees create an action plan that works for you both.
5. Don’t Be A Hypocrite
As a leader, you don’t want to fall into the trap of “do what I say and not as I do.” You must set an example if. If you want your team to respect and listen to you then you have to follow your own rules, that’s how to be a good manager 101. It doesn’t make any sense to hold your employees accountable if you aren’t working just as hard.
A leader must have the utmost and highest level of integrity and model the way for their team. If you leave early during the workday or speak offhand about a colleague, it will ly be repeated by your direct reports.
To avoid this, a leader needs to clarify their values and be hyper-aware of their behavior and hold themselves to the same or higher standards that you would direct reports.
– Daniel Freschi, president of leadership development company EDGE
If you believe that people will follow you because you have the power to tell them what to do, then you have just learned why so many top talents leave your company.
Leaders often want to create a certain type of environment, but don’t want to actually participate in the culture they are determined to create. If you are seeking to create a collaborative environment, ask yourself first if you are collaborating and sharing with others. Putting yourself in everyone else’s shoes will pay dividends.
6. One-on-One Meetings Are Important
Regardless of tight your schedule is, you must make time for your employees. Apart from holding team meetings, make sure you carve out room for one-on-one meetings as well.
While it may feel time-consuming, the return on investment is strong and massive. Regular conversations with managers help to develop trust, both with individuals and within their teams. This leads to more trust in the workplace, brings teams together, creates a fun and safe environment, and leads to better collaboration.
In addition, one-on-one meetings are a great way for leaders to hone their management skills. You learn how to actively listen and provide needed guidance and feedback along the way. By being a good manager, leaders help build better employee performance and improve the overall success of their team.
Three types of managers exist in this case:
- Those who do everything,
- Those who do practically nothing, and
- Those who strategically delegate.
It’s pretty clear which manager you should aspire to be.
When it comes to delegating tasks, it’s important that you know your team, their skills, and their talents. By harnessing their individual strengths, you ensure the task you delegate is done by the very best.
As a leader, this means two things – one, you need to know how to delegate and two, who to delegate to.
8. Welcome New Ideas and Approaches
Most managers are cautious when taking risks and trying new methods and approaches. After all, if anything doesn’t pan out then they’re on the hook. However, welcoming and trying new ideas and approaches is a huge part of being a good manager.
You have to take controlled risks so the company can grow. The most successful companies have managers who are flexible, open to change, can adapt to change and are interested to hear new ideas.
Don’t forget that some of the best ideas out there may very well lie with your employees! After all, they’re in the thick of it each and every day so they usually have great ideas when it comes to improvements or innovations – and it’s important that you listen. By listening to your employees’ ideas, you help employee retention from going south.
With Connecteam, you can enable the suggestion box so employees can easily send ideas and approaches whenever there’s a lightbulb moment.
9. Don’t Avoid Problems
Being a good manager means never tiptoeing around problems. It’s important that you face issues head-on and compile solutions before it spirals control.
Sometimes the answer to the problem can be an uncomfortable one, poor employee talent, squabbles amongst employees, low budget, and so on.
It’s up to you to come up with a solution so don’t just hope and wait because it all falls on your lap and no one else’s. Be proactive and make sure your team has the skills to resolve the issues.
Drama and hysteria will only hurt productivity, motivation, and employee engagement.
Wrapping Up Our Tips on Being a Better Manager
Poor management skills have disastrous long-term effects and may even infect the entire company. There are no bounds when it comes to toxic and misguided leadership.
Strong leaders that have good management skills can and will positively impact a company, such as reducing turnover, improving morale, and betting employee engagement and productivity.
Management has to lead by example and foster a positive working environment so that employees can perform at their best capacity.
(5 votes, average: 5.00 5)
Connecteam is your tool to manage employee engagement, development, and relationship. You can streamline communication, give your employees a platform to be heard, boost engagement, strengthen the company culture, align employees with company policies, streamline daily operations, build professional skills and so much more.
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3 Ways to Be a Better Leader While Also Being a Boss
When you run your own business, you’re ultimately the one in charge. But if you think of yourself as a boss there to bark orders to your minions, it will be hard to lead effectively and gain the respect of your team.
Looking at yourself as coach or mentor to your employees will ultimately bring you better results in today’s workplace than taking a traditional, top-down approach to management.
The truth is, most industries are changing so quickly because of the digital revolution that we all need to learn from each other. If you’re caught up in letting your employees know that you are the boss day in and day out, it will be hard to work effectively with your team in today’s workplace.
Simon Sinek says it best: “Leadership is not about being in charge, it is about taking care of those in your charge.”
Here are three ideas on how to be a better leader while also being a boss.
Get to know your team.
No matter how busy you are, setting aside 10 or 15 minutes a day for “management by walking around” is an investment that will pay incredible dividends. Ask employees, “What’s on your mind?” or “Is there anything I can help with?” You’ll find by engaging in your employees’ lives daily, it’s much easier to anticipate opportunities and stay in front of potential problems.
Take time to get to know your employees outside of the office too. Informal settings, a team picnic or team lunch, can go a long way to finding out about what they enjoy doing outside of work in a casual environment where everyone is relaxed.
You may just discover your team members have hidden talents—whether that’s making funny online videos, creative writing, or raising money for charity. In today’s collaborative work environment people are looking for more than just a paycheck at work.
They are looking to make an impact on the business and letting them use their areas of giftedness in workplace with will inspire greatness.
Put yourself on mute.
Do a small experiment. The next time you have a phone conversation, push the mute button every time the person on the other end is talking. Wait a beat before you jump in with your response to what they’re saying. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn when you listen for just a little longer.
This can be a great approach when you’re trying to solve a problem. Let’s say you run a manufacturing business, and the production lines are moving too slowly.
Instead of staying up nights dreaming up new rules and processes to get the line moving more quickly, ask team members for their input in one-on-one conversations. What would they do to fix the situation? Give them time to answer instead of jumping in with your observations and ideas.
You’ll be surprised at this bottom-up approach and how many problems they will solve for you if you ask questions, then give them time to share ideas.
The same holds true for ideas for growing your business. Not sure how to do marketing? An employee on your team who uses a lot might have some good ideas for you. Wondering what type of incentive program to introduce to reward star performers? Ask your team.
Take a lesson from your best teachers.
The earliest leaders in most of our lives were our teachers. Think back to the great ones—those who left a lasting impression on your life—and how they managed their classrooms.
They didn’t stand in front of the class droning on.
They engaged everyone in the room, and probably in different ways—understanding that what got the aspiring doctor excited about science may have been different than what inspired the future musician.
That servant leadership approach works very well in managing employees.
While you may want members of your team to do their jobs as you’ve trained them, tailoring your leadership style a bit to each individual will pay off.
Some people may need you to give them a lot of direction, while others will be more self-motivated. Being sensitive to that and adjusting your approach will usually lead to better performance.
There may be times where you don’t have that luxury and you all have to simply roll up your sleeves and get things done. However, if you do take the time to fine-tune your leadership style, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to inspire employees to execute on your vision—and help you achieve the business results you desire.
Management Intervention: 3 Ways to be a Better Boss
It was only when I started reporting to a new boss that I realized I was a pretty terrible manager.
When my former boss resigned, my team and I were shifted under a new department in the company. And as my new boss tried to feel out this new team that she was leading, she started asking me questions: “Who on your team deserves a promotion?” “Who isn’t performing up to standards?” “How often do you have one-on-one meetings with your direct reports?”
And as I answered, “Um, I’m not sure,” “I think everyone’s doing OK,” and “Well, whenever I need to,” respectively, I realized that I really wasn’t doing my job as best I could. I really wanted to be a great manager—but it was easy to see that I had become a little apathetic and wasn’t putting 100% effort into leading my team.
Right then and there, I decided it was time to turn it around.
I knew there wouldn’t be an immediate fix, but there were certainly some steps I could take toward becoming a more trusted, respected, and successful manager.
So, if you ever find yourself in my shoes and realize you’re not quite fulfilling your job description, I encourage you to follow my lead with these tips for stepping up your managerial game.
1. Put One-on-Ones on the Calendar
Every boss I’ve had encouraged me to schedule regular one-on-one meetings with each of my direct reports. Yet, despite that advice, I always put it off, preferring to schedule a meeting only when it was really needed (i.e.
, when someone had really slipped up).
I just didn’t think it was that important to my employees—I walked around and talked to them on a daily basis, so why make it awkward by limiting our conversation to the confines of an office?
But the truth is, private one-on-ones give you the chance to provide serious feedback (which is often not appropriate when you’re casually chatting on the floor), and gives your employees the opportunity to talk to you about things they may otherwise feel uncomfortable bringing up— potential promotions, internal moves, or even something about your management style that’s making their job unnecessarily tough.
When I decided I needed a kick in the management pants, I sent a recurring Outlook invite to each of my reports, firmly locking in a one-on-one every two weeks. This way, they were prepared for the sit-down, and I had less of an opportunity to push it off, saying, “Oh, we can just meet next week”—which would happen if I continued to schedule them whenever I felt “it was needed.”
There’s a good chance your employees won’t spill their deepest emotions in your first few meetings—and in fact, they’ll probably be a little awkward.
But as you continue to meet on a regular basis and prove that you’re committed to constant communication, you’ll eventually form a bond that will help you and your team get on the same page.
You’ll get to know your employees on both a personal and professional level and you’ll have a much better read on the “temperature” on the floor.
2. Stop Using Band-Aids
When I looked at my management style, I was forced to admit that I was often opting for the easy way out.
Instead of identifying the root cause of a performance issue and helping the employee work through it, I put a Band-Aid on it—by taking the assignment he or she was struggling with and doling it out to someone with a better track record for those types of tasks. I wasn’t helping my employees grow; I was just ignoring problems and using quick fixes instead.
But if you’re looking to turn your management performance around, it’s time to face your employees and their issues (good and bad) head-on.
In my case, that meant providing individualized coaching and training if I found that an employee wasn’t completing a task correctly.
Sure, it might have been more time-efficient to just delegate it to another team member—but by taking the time to sit down with an employee to provide specific coaching, I was able to strengthen the ability of the entire team. And that has helped us accomplish infinitely more.
Along the same lines, it’s not enough to rely on your employees’ paychecks to serve as a reward for a job well done. If individual recognition has taken a backseat (for me, I often gave a blanket “good job” at team meetings), start praising your team members.
Whether you send your employees a complimentary email, pull them aside for a sincere face-to-face conversation, or recognize their work in front of others, it’s important that they feel appreciated. And if that hasn’t been a priority to you—it should become one.
3. Help Your Employees Trust You
As a manager, you have requests coming at you from all directions.
Your boss is constantly throwing new goals at you, asking why you’re not meeting the forecasted numbers, and laying on the pressure to get your team motivated.
From your employees, you’re getting requests for extra training, complaints about too much work, and, frankly, ideas that you just don’t have time for at the moment.
And when I was in this situation, I often let the executives’ pressure dictate my daily activities—pushing my employees’ requests aside. So, they didn’t get the training they wanted, their plates stayed overloaded (or boredom-inducingly empty), and their ideas went on a to-consider list that I never actually considered.
The truth is, it will never be easy to create a 50/50 balance between the amount of time and attention you give to your employees versus your management.
But then again, should it be an equal split? In all honestly, I don’t know—but I do know that part of my job is to be an advocate for my team.
And that means providing them with what they need to succeed, pushing their ideas through to completion (or at least thoroughly considering them), and helping them in any way I can.
The key? Follow-through, prioritization, and honesty. Whenever your employee makes a request or asks for help that you can’t provide immediately, write it down.
Then, make time to sort through and follow up with these requests, whether that means getting extra training hours approved or presenting a new idea to your boss.
Most importantly, whatever the outcome is, circle back to your employee and let him or her know what came of it—even if you have to let him or her know that the idea was tabled for the time being (or just isn’t going to be implemented, period).
As you start following through on your word, you’ll show your employees that not only are you on their side, but that they can trust you to help them in any way you can.
Be prepared: Your employees might be a little skeptical at your change of heart at first. If you haven’t been an attentive and team-centered manager in the past, they probably won’t have 100% confidence in you right away. The good news is, these steps will put you back on the right path—not only to improve your own management skills, but to help your entire team succeed.
Photo of employee and manager courtesy of Shutterstock
3 Simple Ways to Be a Better Boss
Being the boss means that, to achieve goals, you not only have to be personally inspired by your job, but you also have to inspire those around you. But what if you're terrible at it?
Though there are countless good bosses out there, there are an equal number of ineffective leaders. According to the Great Boss Assessment survey by S.
Chris Edmonds, founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group, only 45 percent of survey respondents say their boss inspires their best efforts each day.
Fifty-eight percent say that their boss treats them with trust and respect daily — which means that 42 percent of bosses treat team members with distrust and disrespect.
“Bosses can be bad by micromanaging and not giving employees the autonomy to do great things,” said Bruce Cardenas, chief communications officer at Quest Nutrition. “These can really derail a boss's standing in the workplace, because it could hinder someone's drive to do a good job.”
Furthermore, bosses can be bad if they don't appreciate their employees, Cardenas added. [See Related Story:Are You a True Leader, or Just a Boss?]
Amy Casciotti, vice president of human resources at TechSmith, a software company that provides practical business and academic software products, said that these traits contribute to poor leadership:
- Poor communication. It's very frustrating for employees to have a boss who doesn't communicate well to provide his workers with clear direction or expectations.
- A micromanager. When bosses micromanage, it shows a complete lack of trust in their employees to do their jobs correctly.
- Playing favorites. Bosses who play favorites with employees and give preferential treatment make poor leaders.
Not un any other team member, bad behavior from the boss can cost the team potential success.
“Having a bad attitude and treating people in an unkind way has a negative effect on success. I think this is one of the most fundamental, basic things in business,” Cardenas said. “It has a toxic effect on the group when bosses should be positive and inspire people daily.”
If you're realizing that your leadership skills need improvement, worry not: Your career can still be salvaged. Here's what you can do to become a better boss.
Communication is key
Whether it's a personal or professional bond, communication is the root of a healthy relationship. Being proactive about and open to communication will improve not only how you lead, but also how you're received by your team.
“Listen and observe more, talk and multitask less,” said Matt Eventoff, owner of Princeton Public Speaking. “We all give clues as to what is going on internally on a regular basis. Those clues give great insight into how to communicate with your employees more effectively.”
To identify potential issues before they arise, Eventoff suggests that you focus on employees' nonverbal communication, tonal and pitch changes, and changes in regular communication patterns.
Recognize your employees' strengths
No man (or woman) should be an island. That said, no one leader has even been successful without help. Good leaders celebrate the strengths and successes of those around them.
“Get good at spotting the strengths of others, including your direct reports, peers and your boss,” Dr. Karissa Thacker, a management psychologist, said. “Research indicates that paying attention to the strengths of others is a critical element in developing others to be more successful, as well as building effective partnering relationships.”
Understand the demographics in your office
Gaining perspective on your multigenerational office can make you a better boss as well. The way your baby boomer employee communicates may not be the same as that of a Gen Xer or millennial. Having a firm grasp on motivations and communication skills can help you as a leader in the long run.
“If you don't make the time to get to know your staff, you'll never understand them and be effective with that cohort of your staff. This helps break down those gaps,” Cardenas said.
“Understanding what people value and what motivates them makes it much easier to communicate job expectations, offer the right type of support, or even make changes that will better suit certain teams' performance,” Casciotti added. “Regardless who you are speaking with, you need to learn how they prefer to communicate, and implement those preferences into the workflow of the organization.”
Remaining self-aware and learning from others will help you in the long run when it comes to your career.
“You need to lean on your subordinates and people that are in a trusted leadership position to learn from them. Not everyone is a natural-born leader, so there is an opportunity to absorb what other leaders at the company are doing successfully in their roles,” Cardenas said.
Additional reporting by Brittney Morgan (Helmrich). Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.