How to be a good manager
Have you ever been a manager of people? It is more than just giving out tasks. It involves dealing with customers, employees, operations, issues and a lot more. It involves dealing with the emotions of people in stressful situations and keeping people motivated, to make sure they are doing their job to their full capacity.
Getting employees on side is a bit of an artform. The way you communicate and argue will reflect in their performance and how they treat you.
Here are some situations:
You get too busy to talk to your employees:
This will happen to us all, and getting busy is fine. If an employee needs something, you might be tempted to tell them that you’re too busy right now. This can be interpreted by an employee that they are not important, or that what they need to do is not important. Another approach would be to assess the situation and work out the priority of their issue. Is it something that needs focusing on now or later? Be proactive with their request – set a time, a meeting to handle the issues, or refer them to another person, who can handle their situation for them and get it resolved without your immediate input.
Bring new ideas to the table
If employees get a chance, they can bring new ideas to the table. As a manager, this might be frustrating if they just change the way they operate and how they manage situations. Many managers will tell them just to do it the old way, or discouraging them to change. A better approach is to evaluate all ideas, as this is a fundamental reason why you hire employees in the first place. Tell them to put together their idea, formalize it, evaluate the pros and cons to work out if it’s going to be good change or not. Keep them excited and make them feel valued, so they feel motivated to contribute more new ideas to the company.
Not happy. Get out. I will find someone who is
This type of statement is power-playing against the employee, and it generally echoes with multiple employees at the same time. This type of motivation is based on fear and the typical reaction to fear is to work with minimal effort. Generally, most people do not understand why what they’re doing is wrong. A great method of approaching this is to get them to explain what they have done wrong, help them identify where they could improve and how they can improve. If this is a bad case, issue them a warning in writing to formalize the issue, in case it keeps recurring. This will set you up in case you have to go down the route of termination in the future, as you have followed the correct procedure from day one.
Tasks with no context
In most companies, when things are changing people become aware of it pretty quickly. They notice meetings, overhear things, etc. But when people are not kept in the loop, this can lead to tasks being allocated without any purpose.
When people do not know a situation, or feel they are doing pointless tasks, they get lost in what they are doing.
Giving employees context as to why they are doing tasks, or how it will impact other people, adds a level of importance to the task. It is understandable that not all information can be shared with employees from the get go, but providing some reason for doing jobs and tasks will help with motivation and give meaning to their work.
Your employee is doing a bad job
Criticizing an employee might be tempting and may even be warranted, but in reality, when people experience a level of aggression, the natural reaction will be to shut down or get defensive. If your employees are in either of these states, their productivity will drop and you won’t get a lot out of them. Illustrating ways they can improve, and providing practical examples of where they have not succeeded, are great ways of changing their attitude for the better. Provide the expectation of what you want achieved, and illustrate how their action has caused loss in your business.
Employees don’t do it my way
Unless you want to work like a factory, telling people that they have to do it your way it not going to inspire new ideas or fresh contributions. Giving your employees direction and settings KPIs will lay a strong foundation. They will know what they need to do to succeed, but it gives them enough freedom to contribute and provide ideas that will lead your company to greater success.
In reality, being a good manager means developing your most talented people and working with all of your employees. If you really believe your employees are not up to standard and are not adding value, use the correct communications and warnings to remove them from your company.
On the other hand, talented employees with potential will want to contribute to your business, and can be sensitive about their contributions. Work with your employees and rationalize with them. Find the right way to work and the best way to achieve your mutual goals. This will set you up for success.