Growing your business

How to be a Good Manager

05 December 2017
4 minute read

While not everyone sets out to be a boss, some have had aspirations to manage people right from the very start of their working life. Either way, when it comes down to it, it’s not an easy task. There’s the constant pressure of meeting targets, making sure jobs get done right and managing the day-to-day running of a business. And to add to this, you want to be fair to your staff and ultimately earn their respect whilst leading them too.

According to research, one in five UK employees have resigned due to having a terrible boss. As well as reflecting badly on management skills, this also affects turnover which could end up costing businesses more time and money in recruiting, hiring and training new staff. Therefore getting management right is essential - after all, having employees who are driven, loyal and enjoy coming into work every day will no doubt have an extremely positive impact on your business!

And while there’s no set formula on how to be a good manager, here are a few tips we’ve put together:

Communicate Effectively

Communication needs to be a two-way conversation and it needs to be frequent. This applies to any contact you have with your employees including email, face-to-face conversations and interactions over the phone. This means always listening to what they have to say, and taking action where possible by coming to resolutions together and creating a safe place for them to share their thoughts.

And finally, always keep them in the loop about any changes or developments that are happening within your business such as restructuring or new policies. This will help to strengthen the bonds of trust and encourage your employees to be equally honest and open with you.

Give Feedback + Recognise Strengths

Giving both motivational and developmental feedback to your employees not only helps them to learn and improve but also allows you to evaluate your staff and highlight areas for growth too.

One of the common barriers for this is confusion over who initiates these feedback sessions. While employees may request this, it’s your responsibility as a manager to make sure that feedback is provided often . It can be as formal or informal as you like and should include constructive feedback that your staff can go away and work on. This could also include discussing any additional training that is needed, setting clear goals and assisting with career progression. And remember, feedback should work as a two-way process, and your employees may appreciate giving you some feedback to work on too.

As well as highlighting areas for improvement, you should also let them know what they’re doing really well and give praise where due. A survey commissioned by Red Letter Days reported that 80% of highly engaged staff receive regular recognition for their work, but it also found that 18% of employees have not received a verbal ‘thank you’ from their manager in the last 12 months.

Be Flexible And Understanding

When it comes to maintaining a professional relationship with your employees, it can often feel like a balancing act between getting too involved or taking a step back. The key here is to make sure you’re available so that your employees know that they have access to your support if and when they need it. Make sure you circulate a contact email address or phone number so that staff are able to get in touch even if you’re offsite.

There also may be times where they’ll come to you with a problem or need to swap a shift at the last minute. Being understanding in these situations is really important as it will show that you’re empathetic towards their personal needs. And remember, be as flexible as you can - this should work as a two-way thing too. For example, if your employees are continually asking you to be flexible but not doing the same in return, then this is something that you will need to address with them.

Create A Healthy Working Culture

Ensuring your employees have a healthy work/life balance is essential. A recent survey found that almost half (43%) of the 6,000 employees surveyed said their boss placed business performance ahead of their health.

It’s important to make sure that your team are taking regular breaks and not staying too late every day. This will not only make your employees happier and generally more satisfied, but also means that they will perform better as they are more likely to enjoy coming into work.

Setting company values can also help keep employees motivated and have a positive impact on your staff’s attitudes to both their work and each other. Organising team evenings out and staff bonding activities can help to encourage mutual understanding while getting to know each other in a more relaxed environment.

While it can be tricky to find an authoritative and encouraging balance when it comes to being a good manager, putting a few simple steps in place means you’ll be in a better position to lead your employees to success!

Next Steps

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