How To Be A Great Manager That Employees Will Look Up To
We are all managers and we are all (in most cases) being managed by someone. It could be directly or indirectly. I personally have been a manager for decades – I’ve also been a consultant and a CEO of a small SEO firm, So I know a little about management.
Since re-joining the corporate world after running my own business for 5 years I’ve seen a lot of great and not so great managers. You can tell when you come across a great manager because their employees are happy, respect their manager and are very productive.
Here are my tips on how to be a great manager:
- Never assume all employees handle stress the same way and never compare one employee to another. I would never tell Dan that Sally is handling her work load and he should “just handle” his. Doing so would make you seem insensitive and actually show what a poor manager you really are. I can guarantee you that you will now have an employee who will no longer be as loyal and dedicated as he/she once was.
- Avoid telling employees both direct and indirect reports that you “need” or “want” anything. I feel it makes it about what you need and not taking into consideration their current workload. It’s also a good feeling to the employee to have the option to say no. If they do say no and you really need them to do the work requested, you can inquire why. This opens up communication. Where if you just told the employee to do the work you may not have been aware of any conflicts or issues.
- As a manager your job in my opinion is to be a mentor. Employees should be learning from you. Take the time to teach employees better ways of doing things or how to streamline a process. It will not just benefit the worker but also their ability to do better work for you.
- Carry yourself as a professional. Respect is hard to gain and easy to lose. If you’re a jokester or prankster you’ll be seen as someone that they can’t take seriously or look up to. If you’re a hot head employees will avoid bringing you bad news. What employee wants to walk on eggshells? If you’re too laid back employees will start to mimic your style and work production will slow.
- Take the time to sit and talk with employees with a genuine sense of sincerity. You work with this people 40 – 50+ hours a week. You may even spend more time working and communicating with them then you do your family. So treat them as extended family. You shouldn’t only care about a worker’s ability to do a good job. You will get more out of an employee if they feel that you care about them just as much as you do about the level and quality of their work. You are managing people not cattle so know when to be a boss and when to be sensitive or aware of a workers emotional or person struggles. How you handle certain situations will either label you a mentor and a leader or a tyrant and dictator.
- Don’t lie to your employees. If you tell an employee you’re going to give them a raise or a promotion, do it. If you promised them a new computer deliver one in a timely manner. You are leading your employees and who wants to follow a lair? I know I don’t. If you can’t deliver then tell them you can’t and tell them why. Ignoring the issue doesn’t make it go away and it won’t make the employee forget. It just shows them how little you care about them.
- Oh, and don’t be a cheap boss. Yes, you should take employees out to lunch and yes you should pay! If you’re requesting the lunch it’s on you and even if you didn’t you should still offer to pay. In most cases you can expense it and if you can’t then pay out of your own pocket. People want to feel appreciated and nothing say appreciation more than taking someone out to lunch on your own dime.
Again, these are just my personal opinions and you can choose to agree or disagree. What do you think it takes to be a good boss?