Skills (And Hacks) For Being A Great Manager
Being a good manager means doing your job well, being a great manager means doing your job well while supporting your team and helping them to be the best they can be. Every manager aims or should aim, to be the latter type. Being a team leader means that you need to do more than just tell people what to do, you need to be the person with all the answers or at least know where to find them, you need to be the shoulder to cry on, the disciplinarian, and the best judge of character. In short, you need to be a parent to your team. Luckily, you don’t have to change them and cook their meals.
There are many skills that you need as a manager, and there are some cheats that will help you along the way.
Being a leader is the main skill you need. You need to be able to direct your team and to keep everyone in line at the same time. Being a leader means that you are the first point of call for each mistake and every achievement, so you need to be the one pushing for the best out of your team. But no one should rule with fear like a bad fairytale, the loyalty of your team will mean everything.
When you’re managing others, you also need to be able to manage yourself. Your time will be split up over various projects at the same time as overseeing everyone else’s. You can manage your projects with apps like Zoho to make things a lot easier. You also need to be prepared to work outside of your hours if the situation calls for it.
Along the same lines as time management, you need to be organized and set that example for the rest of your team. You need to stay on top of a multitude of paperwork as a manager, and each industry will have different paperwork for you to complete. But for the things that are common in many different companies you can find specific pieces of software to help ease the stress of it all. Like Sling, which enables you to manage shifts and holiday requests wherever you are.
You need to be able to listen to your employees. Whether they are talking about achievements they have made outside of work, trouble happening back home or any sort of worries they have, it’s your place to listen and to see what you can do to help. On a personable level, you should show compassion for people and help where you can. On a purely business level a happy employee works better and harder, so you should do what you can to help them.
Working as a team is something that you will be using as you motto from day one as a manager. And it is really one of the most important things, but never forget that you’re part of the team too. You need to work with everyone under you in order to get the best outcome for everything. You can build great connections within your team through bonding at team meetings and outings. Always encourage your team to make friends and bond with each other, this will make for a happier working environment.
There will come times where you will need to be the bad guy and discipline people. You need to enforce the rules of your company and uphold any standards that are set. When giving feedback of the negative kind, you should always try to deliver it in a calm and constructive setting. Berating employees in the middle of the office is never going to be a good idea.
You should give any negative feedback sandwiched between some positive comments, this way it won’t feel like an attack. Giving positive feedback should be something that you regularly do and with gusto. Praising employees is a great way of raising morale, and will encourage good work in the future.
Judge of Character
As a manager, you are often tasked with hiring new people, so you need to be able to be a good judge of character. Their credentials might be exactly what you’re looking for, but having a person who will disrupt your existing team or not fit in at all, is the worst thing you can do. Interviews need to be designed in a way that will give you a good idea of how they will work in your team. Use questions like these that are a bit out of the box and not the standard interview reel, to really get a feel of the person.
Overseeing any training personally will ensure that you know exactly the level of knowledge your trainee will receive. Even if any training delivered is virtual or self-taught, being involved in the process will help you to better understand the new employee, and for them to get to know you better.
You will be tempted to do everything yourself because you are the manager and it’s your responsibility to make sure everything is done and completed to a high standard. But you need to be able to delegate work to others. You might not be able to delegate some of the tasks you’d prefer not to do, like data analysis or budgeting, but there are other tasks that can be completed by others to free up some of your time and reduce your stress.
Admin and Finances
As boring as these two sound, you do need to be able to keep on top of it all. We mentioned paperwork and the fact that you can use apps to help you make it easier. But with finances, your company will have a set way of doing things financially that you will have to adhere to. You don’t need to be a math whizz, but knowing your way around a spreadsheet and percentages is a must.
You might be used to communicating with people via text or messenger, but as a manager, you will have to start saying stuff to people’s faces, and not all of those things are going to be good. Communicating with your team is more than just speaking words and hoping someone is taking it in, you need to know the person you’re talking to. If a particular employee uses humor to convey things, then use that to get through to them.
You, more than anyone on your team, need to be flexible when it comes to the hours you work. If you manage a store, you are the one keeping it going and open. And, in the end, if you don’t put in the extra hours when you need to, then you’re not going to stay open for very long. When a deadline is fast approaching, if you expect your team to put in the extra time, then you need to lead by example.