6 ways to be a better manager

Jul 1, 2016 | Article

Whether you're new to a managerial role, or a veteran just looking to brush up your skills, take a look at the list of ways to improve your management style.

Managing a team is a consequential role. You'll be required to oversee not just the work and productivity of your team, but it will also fall on your shoulders to motivate them when the going gets tough - to ensure that they can be the very best employees possible.

Given that a manager will often have considerable influence, an ineffective boss can have a negative impact on staff engagement, morale and productivity. According to Entrepreneur, studies have indicated that one of the biggest reasons why many workers quit their roles is because they dislike their boss.

Whether you're new to a managerial role or a veteran just looking to brush up your skills, the following advice will help you fine-tune your management style:

1. Don't be arrogant or stubborn
The best managers are open to criticism and will listen to ideas and suggestions from their team, Forbes explained. While not every suggestion will be an industry-disrupting idea, the key is not to be stubborn, arrogant or set in your ways. Don't assume that you're always right, or know best in every situation. An effective manager will display a certain amount of humility and admit when she is wrong. Not only will this impress your team and co-workers, but it can also make you more relatable and likeable, which in turn can improve employee satisfaction and engagement.

"An effective manager will display a certain amount of humility."

2. Make expectations clear
Although it's important to be likeable, you should also take the lead when necessary. After all, it's in your job title. At the end of the day it's your job to set the bar and make expectations high, Forbes argued. There should be no ambiguity among your team as to what they should be doing and why. A great boss will convey such expectations clearly and concisely.

3. Have the courage to identify problems
Singling out an employee for persistent mistakes and problems can be an uncomfortable job, even for the most seasoned managers. A great boss, however, won't shy away from such a challenge. If you notice that a worker is struggling to grasp a concept or repeatedly fails to carry out mandatory tasks, it's in the best interest of everyone for you to have a deep conversation with said employee and develop a plan together to improve the problem, The Muse asserted. "I have often found the conversation I most wanted to avoid is the conversation I needed to have," remarks Vimal Shyamji, Division Director of Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Los Angeles. "If you hire the right people, they want to know that you are not afraid to push them towards greatness."Some managers may opt to gloss over performance problems for the sake of an easy life, but that isn't an effective management strategy. Instigating change is.

Monthly meetings with each team member is a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page.

4. Communication is key
As discussed above, problems will only be resolved through clear and concise communication. "I believe generating clear expectations and communicating them in an easily understandable manner is the best way to build a team and achieve excellent results," says Tom Mello, Cash-In Manager at Beacon Hill Staffing Group. In that respect it's important to meet with your staff as often as possible, to ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of goals and expectations, Forbes stated. Ideally, arrange one on one meetings with your staff every month. If that's not possible, every quarter should suffice. It's important that the meeting is an in-person one on one. That's because email or instant message conversations are sometimes ineffective, as the meaning or tone of the writing can be misinterpreted.

5. Build a rapport with your team
As discussed earlier, a notable factor that can influence employee engagement is whether or not they like their boss. That's why it's a good idea to build friendly relationships with all of your team. Some great ways to do this involve holding monthly lunches, where everyone can come together and socialize, or even after works dinner and/or drinks. In doing this, you may notice employees who are still reticent to participate or buy-in. Part of this is due to the occupational hazard of managing a team – different personalities might have difficulty jelling with others, or might be less comfortable in certain situations. In these cases, not seeing your efforts pay off might be frustrating, but it is critical to remember the preceding tip – communication. Listen to your hesitant team members, understand their underlying behavior, and at the very least you will be better able to manage them and their work performance.

Teams that share strong social bonds tend to perform better than those where there is tension and suspicion. Taking the team out to socialize once in a while also indicates that you are relatable. Far too many bosses carry an aloof or superior reputation, alienating their teams in the process. Don't let that be you!

6. Be creative and innovative
One great way to drive your team forward to success is to constantly find new and innovative ways to make their lives better and achieve goals faster. Whether it's coming up with a new way to approach a task or finding ways to manage your team's time better, some of the very best managers take control and think outside of the box, as Inc detailed.

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