Being a manager is a big responsibility. To get the best out of employees, it requires a refined approach and a nuanced skill-set. It’s particularly important, in this period of post-pandemic commercial recovery, for a good manager to lead by example so that businesses may successfully weather the storm.
It may not always be the easiest task to manage other people while carrying out other day-to-day duties. However, being a strong team leader, with the right practice, can prove to be extremely rewarding.
Here, we outline what a manager should - and shouldn’t do - to achieve success in their role and for the wider business.
Do: Be welcoming, approachable and adopt an open door policy
Don’t: Create a culture of fear
Taking a genuine interest in your team will foster meaningful relationships and build up mutual trust and respect, in turn motivating your employees to do well. It is important too make every team member feel that they are able to discuss any matter without fear of judgement or discrimination, thus building a mature, comfortable working environment for all.
Intimidating your employees will decrease morale and leave employees feeling too daunted to broach important issues. In addition, individuals will distance themselves and shut off, becoming less productive.
Do: Make considered reactions to unexpected events
Don’t: Openly point the finger of blame
It is inevitable that mistakes will be made by someone, at some point. It’s important that you deal with these situations in the right way to avoid the same thing happening again in future, but also to show your team how to effectively overcome a challenge.
Do: Nurture your team
Working to identify your employees’ strengths and weaknesses, then providing training and development, will show that you truly want each individual to progress in their career. However, trying to oversee every single task that your employees are required to complete can feel oppressive and creates an atmosphere of mistrust, discouraging people from taking initiative which can often lead to great things.
Do: Make decisions
Don’t: Fail to take responsibility
Being in a senior position means you will be looked upon to make measured decisions when it is needed. As a leader, you need to be able to guide your time in the right direction in times of uncertainty.
Do: Stay positive and honest
Don’t: Avoid communicating with your team
Employees will only be motivated to do their jobs when they feel that they are working for a worthy business that values every person. This means that it’s imperative to avoid speaking negatively about the business and senior management, and never talk down to team members in front of others.
Keeping your employees abreast of the organisation's latest news and developments will show the team that the entire business is in it together, working towards the same goals for the benefit of everyone.
Do: Create a stimulating environment and work-life balance
Don’t: Ignore negative signs
There is plenty of research demonstrating that happy employees are more productive employees, so take the time to find out what your team wants and try to find a way of giving it to them. If you’re noticing decreased productivity or higher levels of stress in a particular person or team, dig a little deeper into the root cause and address it before it gets out of hand.
Forward-thinking policies, like equal parental leave, and little perks, such as friendly competitions, early Friday finishes or having music on in the office, can make all the difference when it comes to an employee’s experience.
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