Management, when broken down is a relatively common sense approach. However, common sense isn’t very common. Here are some easy steps you can build into your daily routine that will help you make a better manager and leader.
- Provide clear direction.
Management begins with the realization that a team, with the numbers, skills and experience of its members, have a better chance of succeeding than that of a single manager working on their own. However, for the team to succeed the manager needs to provide clear directions and objectives as to what the teams need to do. Begin by agreeing SMART objectives with your team (Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Relevant and Time bound). This will help a manager to provide a clear picture of the actions and results expected from the team’s activities.
- Ensure the team has the resources to succeed.
Once the objectives have been set, manager should discuss with the team if they have the necessary resources to ensure that the job gets done. By being an advocate of the team and ensuring they get the resources, the team will appreciate that their manager looks after them.
- Give and take regular feedback.
Managers need to check in each day with their team members and gain insight into how the team is working as a whole and individually. By holding a team huddle each day and working through the issues, the manager and team will not be held hostage to fortune and a nasty surprise emerging. By taking notes of any issues, and following up each day, the team will learn how their manager works and how things get done. In addition, managers should invite feedback from their team and individually at their weekly one-to ones. Feedback should look to cover a three to one ratio of positives to negative. When giving negative feedback always separate the behavior from the individual. This way the relationship can stay strong and healthy while performance issues can be coached through in a non-threatening manner. This two-way communication will instill transparency and open the way for trust to be built.
- Recognize and reward performance.
Every employee needs to be appreciated. The most common reason for employees to leave their employment is because of poor management from their direct manager. Managers need to look for, and recognize performance, on a weekly basis. It can be anything from a team member fixing a network issue that had hampered team performance, to acknowledging a customer being happy with the service of a team member. Recognizing performance can be calling out a team member personally at the team huddle, to leaving a personal note at their desk, or inviting them for a coffee and delivering feedback face to face.
So, take these easy steps and build them into your routine, each and every day. Great leaders evolve from great managers and great managers evolve from learning from their teams. Common sense in action.
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