Good management is the key to success in business. As a manager, you set the tone for how your employees work. You can inspire them to achieve great things, which naturally helps your company to grow, but doing so takes effort on your part. Managers have many different styles, and what works for one company may not necessarily be ideal for another. At the same time, every manager should strive to achieve certain universal management skills and goals. Here are some must have leadership skills for managers that can help them go a long way.
1. Learn to Delegate More
As a business owner or manager, it’s normal to want everything to be done in a very particular way. While your drive and willingness to contribute is certainly a positive trait, trying to handle everything yourself can lead to problems. Besides causing you to feel overworked, taking on too many responsibilities can inadvertently cause your team to feel undervalued. Trust and respect are essential in any work environment, and it’s important that your employees feel like they’re contributing to the company. Additionally, different team members have unique skills, and delegating to take advantage of those skills can give your business a competitive edge.
2. Communicate More Effectively
In order for a business to run efficiently, you must communicate your wishes clearly and concisely. There’s more to excellent communication skills than just speaking clearly. You also need to make yourself accessible so your employees feel comfortable coming to you for clarification. Make sure your employees know that questions are always welcome, and then be sure to be kind in your responses — even if the questions are sometimes a little silly. When it comes to assigning projects and making your goals known, you may also want to include a written memo so your team has something to reference as needed.
3. Provide Regular Feedback
Providing regular feedback is an essential part of managing employees. While you don’t want your team to feel like they’re being micromanaged, it’s crucial that you guide them. After all, an employee can’t improve if they don’t know what they’re doing wrong. On the other side of the coin, besides just critiquing work, it’s important that you also provide positive feedback to keep your team on the right path. Giving positive feedback also makes your employees feel appreciated, which improves your company’s retention rates and leads right into the next goal, which is:
4. Create a Positive Work Environment
Boosting morale boosts productivity and your company’s bottom line. While professionalism is important, you want your employees to be happy while they work. Little things like buying the team lunch once in a while or taking them outside for team-building exercises go a long way in keeping the workday fresh and positive. Another great way to improve morale is to allow more flexible scheduling (when possible). In India, it’s normal for employees to work long hours. While that work ethic is certainly commendable, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is critical to the long-term happiness of your team. Providing work-from-home days or allowing employees to come in early or late from time to time can help them to feel more upbeat while they work. You may even find that your company runs more efficiently overall, even though fewer hours are technically worked.
5. Encourage Collaboration and Participation
Beyond being a manager, you want to be a leader. Value-added leadership occurs when you try to uplift all your employees for the greater good of the company, rather than focusing on your own personal accomplishments. Instead of just telling your team what to do, you mentor, educate, and train them. When a problem arises, you work together to find a solution, and you learn from the problem so it doesn’t happen again. You want your team to feel like, well, a team. Encourage them to get involved, work together, and be part of the big picture.
6. Maintain an Organized Work Space
Never underestimate the importance of a pleasant work environment. As the manager, it’s up to you to set an example, and that includes how your office, store, warehouse, or other work space is maintained. Beyond keeping it tidy, you may want to take steps to make it more welcoming. Live plants, wall art, and other decorations go a long way to making a work environment feel more like home. Additionally, playing music can be a great way to elevate your surroundings. If possible, you can also provide a recreational area where employees can have fun, get creative, or just relax during their off-time.
7. Accept Criticism Gracefully
In addition to providing feedback, you should also be able to receive it. A good manager is always looking for ways to improve, and sometimes the best advice can come from the people you manage. Check in with your employees to make sure they’re happy with how things are being run. While you may not always be able to cater your management approach to your team, learning about their perspectives empowers you to make better decisions in how the business operates.
Simply seeking out ways to be a better manager is a huge first step in the right direction. Nobody is perfect, and achieving excellence and developing lasting management habits often take years of hard work, dedication, and yes, mistakes. Being a manager is a learning experience, so take new knowledge to heart and adapt as you go. Keep an open mind and remain teachable, even when you’re in a position of authority. That’s what separates a truly effective leader from a manager.