How To Be A Better Manager: Your Go-To Guide For The 10 Most Transformative Management Strategies
At one time or another, every strong manager has asked themselves “how can I become a better manager?”. This is the mark of a great leader: the ability to reflect inward and consider your weaker points is essential in building them up to be stronger, not only for yourself but for your team as well.
A strong manager has a cascading effect through an entire team and the performance as a whole will reflect that. You can become a better manager with the proper tools to create new habits and find success.
Why Is Strong Management Essential In The Workplace?
A strong team doesn’t just happen accidentally. It’s the result of a series of intentional choices and well-thought-out actions. The effects a manager has on their team can be exponentially positive…and if done poorly, equally negative. A survey done by Gallup found evidence of this when they discovered that 70% of a team’s engagement is based on their management. That means the level of engagement you experience from your team is a reflection of your management style.
How did that statistic make you feel? It can be eye-opening to see how much your management approach can affect your team’s desire to take part and interact with you directly. This may make you wonder how you can be a better manager to your team.
Top 11 Strategies To Become A Better Manager And Leader
The good news is: it’s possible! If you work to include these 11 simple (but important) strategies in your management style, you’ll begin paving the way to higher-caliber work with your team and a healthier workplace!
Be Part Of The Team
Instead of simply managing your team and dictating roles and responsibilities, step into the work with them. Join in and support their tasks. Take some of the work for yourself to lighten the amount your team has to complete. When you put in as much work as your employees, you’ll build stronger connections and gain valuable respect from them. This gives you the opportunity to show your team that you view yourselves as equals and that you’re willing to match their efforts to find success – as a team.
Give Your Team A Voice
When you begin a project and start developing your goals and action plan for it, include your employees in the decisions. Letting your team share in the creation of the project helps boost employee morale and increase motivation. People love being involved, and when you let your team members help shape the project, they’ll become more invested in its success. This also allows for your action plan to be built in a unique way by encouraging your members to make recommendations based on their skill set, and how they can bring the project greater success.
Be A Good Communicator
Communicating is more than just how you speak to people. Your interactions with your team will shape how they view you and have a strong effect on how they feel working for you. A strong manager utilizes open communication to help support their staff to the best of their ability. A great way to do this is to maintain an “open door” concept. Encourage your employees to come speak to you anytime they need you and reinforce that you’re always available to them. This will help your staff feel fully supported and confident that they can turn to you for support when they need it.Another benefit of encouraging open communication in the workplace is that it lets you discuss employee performance in a less formal setting. Discussing strengths and weaknesses can be a difficult subject that causes stress for many employees. Creating a way to minimize the stress of it through relaxed, informal conversation, can greatly increase your staff’s receptivity to your feedback (more on this further down).
Develop Strong Motivation Skills
Motivating a team is an important skill to have as a manager. One of the best (and most successful) ways to do this is by simply showing your appreciation for your team. It’s one of the largest driving forces of motivation you can use. Show your team that you value them and are thankful for the hard work they put in to find success. This will solidify their belief in the company, and also prompt them to be proud of the work they’re completing.Another great way to motivate your team is through healthy competition. Create unique, fun challenges for your employees to take part in for a reward. Have them race towards a goal you’ve set together. Engagement on a social post, sales, the quality of a piece of work, or anything else that fits your team’s goals. The challenge can be anything that would be fun for your employees to take part in while putting in their best effort for the project or company.
Collaboration in the workplace is proven to bring a wealth of benefits. When team members are encouraged to work alongside one another and use their skills to benefit their colleagues, they form a higher sense of responsibility for one another. This extends to the project itself as well. When tasks are shared and a team knows exactly how their role will affect all others, they work harder and create a higher quality of work. This also helps foster a natural support system for your employees. It provides them with people to reach out to when they need help or want to work closely to achieve a more balanced final result. Collaboration is also a key player in creating a healthy workplace environment by reducing stress and relieving intense workloads.
Challenge Your Employees
When you assign tasks, consider who in your team is ready for a bigger challenge. Who do you want to see grow within your team and company? Consider past performance and proven drive to succeed. When you assign these more challenging tasks, take time to meet with the employee to create an action plan to achieve it. Remind them you’re there to help them if they need it, and provide them with the support needed to succeed. Stretch their abilities and make them more skilled, valuable employees with harder tasks that are slightly above what an employee is already producing well. This will also help reinforce in your team that you believe in them and want them to continue growing within their role and the company.
Growth comes from knowledge. While many companies do performance reviews annually, it can be beneficial to conduct them more frequently, such as quarterly. When you talk to your team about their strengths and weaknesses more often, it helps them keep their personal goals at the forefront of their minds. It also provides a valuable opportunity to track (and reward) progress more frequently. This will allow you and your team members to see if their new strategies are working how you’ve expected they would.To make this even more powerful, include your involvement in their growth and success. Provide opportunities and guidance reflective of their individual needs. When you work with your team members on a regular basis to set, check, and reframe personal goals, it builds a sense of confidence in your guidance and in their own potential.
Accept Feedback From Your Team
It’s equally important for you to get feedback from your team on your management abilities. Ask for constructive criticism or check-in to see how well you supported your team during the last project. Consider asking how you could have done better. Ask your team if there is anything they need from you that you may not be providing them at this time. Then, act on those suggestions! Show them that you were listening and truly want to support them better and become a stronger manager for them. Showing them that you want to grow and be better, will encourage them to work towards their individual growth as well.
Share The Success
When a project comes together well, it’s important to acknowledge your team’s hard work and the efforts they made. The truth of the matter is, a project is only as successful as the team that creates it. While you’re an integral part of that team, your members make up the bulk of it. If you get praised or rewarded by your higher-ups for the success of the project, show gratitude to your team. Highlight their hard work to your managers. Celebrate the win. Applaud employees who went above and beyond. Tell your team how valued they are and how well they did on the project. When your team gets to take part in your shared success, you’ll foster stronger bonds between you and your team.
Embrace New Learning Opportunities
Being a manager doesn’t exempt you from learning new things…especially from your team! While you bring a level of expertise that your team may not have, they bring essential skills that you may not be proficient in. A strong manager will take opportunities to learn from their team during meetings and discussions and won’t be ashamed to ask for more clarification. This lets you connect with your members on more neutral ground, where they are allowed to be the expert. It also shows them that they’re a valuable member of the team and were chosen because of the high level of skill they bring with them. By learning from the people around you, and getting a clear sense of their abilities, you’ll be better able to support them and lead them to success.
Learn How To Delegate
Delegating is more than just moving work from your plate onto another. It’s assigning tasks directly to those people who are best suited to complete them. This requires a strong knowledge of your team’s skill sets and a thorough understanding of the project parameters. Delegate tasks according to your team members’ passions and skills. This will help your staff perform better because they’re doing something they genuinely enjoy. When you do this, your employees will feel irreplaceable because you’re providing them opportunities and tasks that are specific to them. Not only that, but when employees complete tasks that are unique to their skills and interests, they’ll form a tighter bond with the company.When you delegate effectively, you’ll provide your team with work they’ll find success in completing to a high caliber. This will reinforce your employee’s confidence in you by seeing that you know what they’re capable of. It also reduces workplace stress because people know they won’t be asked to do something that’s out of their realm. When you successfully delegate projects and tasks, you’ll create a thriving workplace with an effective system to manage intricate projects.
Whether you’ve just stepped into a manager position, or have been in the role for years, learning to become a strong manager can be hard work. Occasionally it can mean unlearning long-time behaviors and adopting new ones, and other times it’s just starting off in the best way. Whichever is your circumstance, by using these strategies to become a better project manager you’ll begin seeing positive changes in your team.