Tips for Managers – What To Do And What To Avoid

We understand that managing people can be an intimidating job especially if you are new to the position. Managing people is a skill and it can take a lot of time and energy to develop strong skills in people management. Sometimes, more often than not, it will not come easy but once mastered you will have developed a lifelong skill.

Being a manager means that you are responsible for getting results from your team. As a manager, you will need motivated and engaged staff that will assist in the company vision and goals.

You will also need to create a positive working environment and limit the negativity as it’s the positivity that will drive, inspire and engage your employees. It will be your skills in managing people will then determine how successful you are.

Bear in mind that, good leadership is definitely something that can be learned and developed, it won’t always be easy, but it is possible and in turn you can develop into a great leader.

We have listed some tips that will bring your career as a leader to a great start.

5 Tips for Managers

  • Communicate & Give Feedback – No surprise here. Your employees want to know where they stand. Keeping everyone up to date, setting realistic goals/expectations, and giving feedback in real-time will go a long way in helping build trust and confidence from your team members. This communication goes both ways as well. Ask for feedback from your team when you need it.
  • Delegate – This is probably the biggest difference at the manager level. You have to change your mindset to work through others instead of doing everything yourself. Managers tend to burn out when they try to do it all themselves. You have a team for a reason. Leverage their skills and make sure they are doing their fair share. A good manager makes sure everyone is working hard but that they also have good work/life balance (including the work/life balance of you, the manager).
  • Hold Others Accountable – Holding others accountable is sometimes difficult, but imperative. When you begin to work through others you need to make sure those individuals are being held accountable for their work, timelines, etc. Accountability can be as simple as not letting an employee off the hook when they don’t meet expectations. Help to make sure they are on track and course-correct constructively as you go.
  • Develop Your Team – People gravitate to those who help them develop and succeed. If your goal is to make your employees successful by developing them, they will trust and respect you. Make sure in your one-to-one meetings with team members, you find out what motivates them and what they need to develop. This should be part of almost every discussion with them in addition to more task focused discussions.
  • Get a Mentor – Mentors and coaches can be great resources. If you have a mentor within or outside of the organisation, it can help you to develop as a manager. Keep in mind, though, that the mentor’s role is not to tell you what to do. Just copying their behaviour is not the goal. Getting their input/advice and then putting your own spin on it will help you to develop your own leadership style.

5 Things to Avoid for Managers

  • Don’t Micromanage – In an exercise interviewing job candidates over a period of time, they were typically asked about their best and worst manager and what qualities those people possessed (to see if they fit into company culture). The #1 response for the “worst manager” is someone who micromanages. Employees hate it. Managers spend a lot of time doing it. It benefits no one and you will work a lot of hours managing this way.
  • Don’t Focus Too Much on Tasks – Similar to micromanaging some managers focus too much of their time on tasks. This may seem counterintuitive because every manager needs to accomplish tasks through their team. However, placing too much of an emphasis on tasks, rather than goals tied into bigger business initiatives, may demean the work and decrease the job satisfaction and engagement of your employees.
  • Don’t Treat Everyone the Same – This one may sound odd. A good manager is fair, consistent and reasonable. However, that doesn’t mean they need to treat everyone exactly the same. Being flexible and adjusting your style to different personalities can lead to greater managerial success. This doesn’t mean that you give one employee more annual leave than another (that is speaking to fairness) but it does mean that one employee may need more of your time than another.
  • Don’t Procrastinate with Decisions – Employees get easily frustrated if there is no direction or decisiveness in their managers and leaders. Make decisions, set a vision, and help your employees execute that vision. When managers procrastinate on decisions it can lead to a number of negative outcomes. Your team may lose confidence in your abilities. Additionally, the indecisiveness may reduce productivity if they need the direction in order to move projects forward.
  • Don’t Do It All by Yourself – Managers are in a unique position. It is ok if you don’t have all the answers. Sometimes getting the input from other managers, executives, colleagues, peers or from your team can be the best thing for a situation. Remember that you are constantly learning and developing as a manager too, so it is ok if you need support.

For more advice and guidance on management techniques and styles, contact a member of the HR Team at HR Services Scotland Ltd on 0800 652 2610.

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