Being a great manager is something that anyone in that position aspires to, but to become one requires more than just possessing the right degree or the necessary years of experience as a subordinate. Often the biggest roadblock on the way to becoming a truly great manager is learning how to become a great people manager. Here are ten top tips on managing people that any supervisor can use to help up their "game."
Tip #1 - Realize that People Management is a Skill Separate From Your Core Skills: You may be a great executive but without great people management skills you'll never be a great manager. It is a skill that can be learned though, so if you are not so good at it just yet keep at it, the rewards you reap on a professional level will be worth all the extra effort.
Tip #2 - Being a Manager is a Role - A manager has a role that requires them to set themselves apart, make tough decisions and take responsibility for everyone's actions, not just their own. This means that a manager should not be a subordinate's best friend, they should be someone who provides great direction and then make sure that they do all they can to allow their employees to do their jobs.
Tip #3 - Find the Right Distance - A micromanager can be a nightmare to work for. Their constant presence can destroy employee trust, lower morale and leave their employees feeling totally disempowered. An absentee manager can be even worse though. They are often unavailable when a subordinate really does need help and guidance and their seeming lack of interest can destroy a team. The perfect balance is somewhere between the two. A great manager provides direction when needed but then retires to a distance, They also let the employees know that they are keeping track of them by checking in with them periodically.
Tip #4 Make Your Employee's Success a Priority - It is a very simple concept. If your employees do well and succeed so will you. If a manager becomes known for being a great talent spotter - and talent nurturer - then they become an even more valuable asset to the company. A great manager discovers what their employee's goals are and then does all they can to help them meet them.
Tip #5 -Take the Time to Acknowledge Great Work - Deep down, most people value acknowledgment for a job well done more than they do money. A great manager takes the time to acknowledge good work but does not gush. This lets employees know when they are doing something right, which will allow them to build on that success even further.
Tip #6 - Guide First, Counsel Second and Discipline Last - When dealing with any employee a great manager guides first and then if a specific issue arises that needs to be addressed, if something has to change, they counsel their employee about how to do that. Discipline should be a last resort, something that occurs when the employee has still not delivered on the action that was requested and talked about.
Tip #7 - Record it All - A manager is responsible for their own actions, including how they dealt with employees. A great manager is able to show what they did and when in regards to employees because they kept a record of it. In bad times this can protect their job and in good times it can prove just how good they are at it.
Tip #8 - Make Agreements - Employees may not be enthralled about every goal they are set but a great manager does have to make sure that they abide by company policies by making agreements about expectations with employees right from the start, so that everyone knows what is expected of them.
Tip #9 - Work on Team Building - A great manager has a great team, it's as simple as that. Team building is something that needs to be worked on every day, with issues addressed as they arise, not when they become an insurmountable problem.
Tip #10 - Be Fair and Consistent - A great manager never plays favorites (however hard that may be sometimes) and is consistent in the way they communicate, and discipline, everyone they manage.