I think you will agree with me when I say: managing people is one of the toughest jobs on the planet.
I have done it before, and the challenges are many. One day you’re hiring what you perceive to be the best talent, and the next, you’re contending with employee exit.
The third day you’re dealing with absentee workers, and the next, you barely have enough resources to pay for wages among other financial needs.
Management is one tough job, but with the right information, you can learn how to be better at it and produce amazing results.
In today’s post, we share 7 ways of becoming a better manager that employees love no matter where you go. These tips are aimed at making you a better “people person,” not just the biggest earner in your company.
Take and run with these tips, and you shall realize remarkable results as you aim to be the best manager you can ever be.
Remember, this is not an exhaustive list; it’s just a starting point to becoming a better manager in your industry.
If that sounds like a great deal, let’s start right away because there is a lot to learn.
How to Become a Better Manager
There is no magic formula to becoming a better manager. It is all about developing your leadership style and management skills continuously.
If you lag behind at any stage, you will fall short of your goals and become a worse manager than you already were.
As such, strive to improve yourself personally and professionally on a daily basis, and becoming a better manager will come automatically.
The fact that you’re reading this post means you already understand this concept, which is commendable.
That being said, here comes 7 ways of becoming a better manager.
1. Work With Your Team, Not Over Them
The traditional style of management involved barking orders like a rabid dog from the corner office. Anybody who didn’t cower in fear when the big man shouted down the aisle often didn’t last long in that office.
More often than not, this type of management led to poor employee performance, absenteeism and high turnover. Most times, both the manager and employee didn’t last long in the company because poor leadership cuts both ways.
But the modern day workplace has evolved tremendously. To achieve the best results, the smart manager must be able and willing to do the work the employees do.
Do you manage a restaurant? You should be willing to do dishes, wait tables and even cook.
If you manage a cleaning company, you should don an apron and get your hands dirty now and then, if not daily. Joining your employees on the floor (as opposed to sitting belligerently in your office) fosters trust and earns you respect from your team.
2. Don’t Micromanage
Long before I held a managerial position, I was an employee, and one trait I disliked the most in my manager back then was micromanagement.
It was (and still is) as ugly as a monkey in a negligee. I hate it, and so does every other employee under the sun.
As a matter of fact, and despite good pay and a challenging work environment, I didn’t hesitate to resign when micromanagement became commonplace every single work day. It was infuriating to the point of exchanging words with said manager.
Now, instead of breathing down everybody’s neck, learn how to delegate duties effectively.
Why did you hire a team to begin with, if you want to do everybody else’s work? You will burn out, demotivate your employees, and achieve poor results.
So, don’t micromanage; delegate. And if you must chip in, do it in a constructive manner that doesn’t leave the staffer feeling stupid and out of place.
Don’t make your employees doubtful, dependent and lazy – it’s not worth it.
If you need a little push, you can outline everybody’s tasks and goals using tools such as Asana and Trello so that everybody knows what is expected of them on a daily basis.
Clearly outline deadlines and whatnot, and then collaborate with your team in real-time using Slack or Zipline among other communication tools.
3. Don’t Hold Back Tough Feedback
While micromanaging your team will result in poor results, turning a blind eye to problems within your team isn’t the way to go.
If you hold back tough feedback, you are only encouraging bad habits. Constructive criticism can help a team member, micromanagement won’t.
Don’t be afraid to call out bad habits when spotted, but don’t be a jerk about it. Additionally, be consistent in your reprimands and never ever play favorites.
At the same time, don’t hesitate to reward good habits and exceptional performance.
Also, don’t go HAM on your employees just because you want to seem tough. Nope, that isn’t the way.
Be assertive and helpful, not hurtful and aloof. Be the confident boss who discourages bad behavior in a way that inspires desired change.
In a perfect world, managers would be cool under pressure and the perfect source of inspiration—and always say the right thing at exactly the right time.
But we don’t live in a perfect world and management is chaotic. People are unpredictable, situations escalate, and in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to let something not so appropriate slip out, without even realizing it.
And it’s not as simple as to vowing not to be mean, there’s phrases that may seem like normal office chatter or go-to expressions that can undermine a manager’s authority and effectiveness.
4. Keep Learning to Improve Your Management Skills
According to Maryville University, “Modern business moves fast. Leaders must possess a deep disciplinary expertise as well as the ability to contribute ideas across an ever-changing landscape.
Additionally, as a business professional, you [must] build dynamic expertise that can be applied in many settings. This helps you prepare for more diverse opportunities as demand for modern business expertise continues to grow in for-profit, nonprofit, and public sectors.”
Don’t be the manager with outdated knowledge that pulls your team behind.
Continuously learn hard skills, soft skills and keep abreast of the latest trends within your industry.
Employees love the manager who has answers to their questions. And when you don’t have answers, they will respect you for your willingness to learn.
5. Hold Efficient Meetings
If you want to be a better manager, don’t waste people’s time with unnecessary meetings.
A study by Atlassian showed that the average employee spends over 60 hours per month in meetings, and roughly half of that is
According to the same study, unnecessary meetings cost US businesses $37 billion dollars per year. Do you waste time and money in inefficient meetings? Stop right this minute. But how do you hold effective meetings?
Start by sticking to a clearly-defined and well thought-out agenda.
Secondly, instead of that one-hour-long meeting, schedule half-hour-long meetings, and only invite attendees who need to be there.
Thirdly, never start a minute late and consider stand-up meetings to encourage brevity.
At the end of the day, you will spare enough time and money to spend on your goals, which makes you a better manager.
Other than that, your team will love you because you don’t waste their time or bore them to death with ineffective meetings.
6. Focus on Effective Motivation
Effective motivation is the lifeblood of any efficient team. If you want to become a better manager and lead your team to victory, you must focus on motivating each team member individually.
If you can motivate the team as a whole, the better, but focus on the individual.
Why? Because each team member has unique goals, interests and motivations.
If you can put a finger on the things (personal or professional) that motivate each staffer, you will have a well-motivated team that is ready to achieve the set goals.
There is no one-solution-fits-all approach to motivation.
By the way, if you had no idea, team building activities are a waste of money and time, according to an article published on Forbes. Focus on effective individual motivation to become a better manager and find favor in the eyes of your team and employers.
7. Be Humble
Nobody wants to work (or even live) with a jerk. Not even other jerks.
If you’re quick to flash your boss badge to intimidate your team into action, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re quick to lose your marbles, and yell at your staffers for every small mistake, you’re in for trouble as a manager.
Humility goes a long way as a leader.
Want people to follow you willingly? Stay humble. Want to inspire your team into action? Clearly outline your expectations but stay humble. Stay humble whether you’re at work, away on vacation or at home.
Why? Because your reputation matters if you want to become a better manager that everybody loves and respects. Humility is key as far as effective management goes.
Becoming a better manager is challenging because it involves working on the one person who is hard to boss around; yourself.
Still, with the above tips and daily practice, you can become a better manager that teams and employers love all over the world.
After all, management is a skill you can learn and master over time, so start early and keep at it. Within no time, you (and your employees) will realize the change. After that, just tweak your leadership style for the best results.