Being a manager is about a lot more than barking orders at your employees. Anyone can call themselves a manager, but it takes a certain set of skills and a great deal of social awareness to be a good one.
So what can you do to make sure you’re the best manager you can be?
Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
This applies to staff on every level. Just because you manage a certain staff member, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them. Listen to your team, learn from their experience and utilise their strengths to ensure optimum performance across your department.
You should also make sure you listen to your staff’s concerns. Don’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to staff disputes or concerns within the team. Listen to your staff when they raise an issue. Proactively encouraging your staff to voice their opinions regularly is also a great way of avoiding disputes and other issues from arising in the first place. Invite staff to give you regular feedback on your management style and general operations so that you can make sure you’re managing your team effectively and efficiently.
Understand Different Styles
We all learn differently and many of us respond better to some learning styles than others. When training new staff or up-skilling your current team, it’s important to understand the various learning styles. The four main styles are visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. There are many quick quizzes you can ask your staff to complete to find out which learning style they best respond to. Remember that what works for you may not work for the rest of your team.
After training is complete, you should also take the time to learn how your team likes to operate. Some people need a hands-onapproach where you check in regularly whilst others will prefer to work independently. No two people are exactly the same, so take time to understand how your staff work. This will save you time and energy further down the track.
As a manager, a key part of your job is to manage others and check that operations run smoothly. You, therefore,shouldn’t be completing all of the tasks yourself. Learn to delegate and allow your staff to learn new skills. It may seem quicker to complete a certain task yourself than explaining it to someone else, but it will save you time in the long run as they will be able to keep completing that task in future.
Communicate & Collaborate
Staff appreciate being kept in the loop and understanding the big picture will keep them motivated. Don’t be afraid to share information with your staff about targets, objectives and any other concerns. When your staff feel as though you are working as a team, they are more likely to go the extra mile to get the job done.
You can also hold regular meetings to keep your team informed but don’t hold meetings just for the sake of it. Long and pointless meetings will waste time and demotivate your staff. Make sure all your meetings have a purpose and keep them short and to the point. A nice edible treat or a round of coffees at the monthly meeting is also a nice gesture that will make your staff feel appreciated.
No matter where you are on the management ladder, you will never be done learning. You can always learn new skills, improve your style and acquire new information.
So whether you’re running a health clinic and want to achieve a Diploma of Practice Management or run a team of sales staff and want to learn how to motivate your team for better results, consider taking a management course. Be sure to do your research beforehand to make sure the course is relevant to your industry and role.
Managing a team is as much about emotional intelligence as it is about motivating your staff to get things done. Taking time to understand your staff, their preferences and learning styles will not only keep your staff motivated but will also ensure that you have a harmonious working environment and a productive team.
A good manager understands that even though they may be higher on the company ladder than their subordinates, they can learn as much from their team as their team can learn from them. Respect should be mutual and communication & collaboration is key to your success.
If you’re struggling to understand your role as a manager or feel that you could improve your skills or performance, don’t be afraid to take a management course to up-skill and learn new things. Wherever you are on the company ladder, there is always more you can learn.