It’s not easy being a manager. Not only are you responsible for the work you do, but you are also responsible for other people and the work their do within your company. While you need a team to achieve set goals, managing people is easier said than done. As the leader, you need to motivate and inspire your team, while investing time and money in making sure they work to an optimum level. You also need to manage issues that can arise in any workforce, such as confrontations, poor timekeeping, and personal problems.
No-body said your job was going to be easy, and there will be times when you yearn for simpler times when you weren’t in charge. However, we are here to help. Being a manager isn’t easy, but here are some top tips to help you in your leadership.
Be a good role model
You are in charge, but that doesn’t mean you should have the power to throw your weight around or have extra days off each week because you have earned the right to do so. As the leader, you need to be a good role model. Your team will be watching your behavior and how you handle situations. Be somebody who inspires them by promoting a good work practice, such as turning up for work a few minutes early, getting your hands dirty on jobs that may not be part of your pay grade, and being respectful to all those who work around you. Lead by example, and you will earn the respect of your team to follow you into battle.
Communicate your feelings
Be honest and transparent in your communication with your team. When they don’t pull their weight, let them know you are unhappy. Should they excel within their work, praise them for their efforts. Your word holds a lot of sway, and your team needs to hear your voice. There are many weak leaders who are bombastic or afraid to share their feelings, and the workplace suffers because of it. Be bold when you need to be, and stay silent only when you are wise to do so.
Listen to your team
Being in charge doesn’t mean you have the answer to everything. There are times when you need to listen to what your team has to say. They may have feedback to your ideas or have innovations of their own that they are keen to implement. There are many skills and experiences within your team that you should take advantage of. Otherwise, people will feel unmotivated and undervalued when they are aren’t given the opportunity to have a say in the workplace.
Technology is great, and there are many ways you can implement tech into the workforce to make managing your team easier. For example, a work schedule app will help you coordinate your team and plan to individual strengths. You could also use cloud technology, giving your team the option of working at home occasionally, while still being to collaborate on projects. Not only can you make your job easier by allowing technology to take on some of your responsibilities, but you can also streamline the efficiency of your workforce and make their job easier, too.
Create a positive environment
There are many ways you can create a positive workplace, from the aesthetics of the building to the relationships among staff. Considering your team probably spend more time at work than at home, you should concentrate on making it an attractive place to be. There is more information on our site to show how this boosts morale, and you will also enjoy the benefits on a social and working level.
Focusing on the building, allow your team to personalize their work areas. Have a designated break area where your team can unwind and offload. Ensure there is plenty of ventilation, with natural light coming in from the windows. There are other great ideas here, and when implemented, the workplace will become a safer and more comfortable place to be.
Of course, you may have created the best office space in the world, but if the people within it are always fighting and complaining, the negative atmosphere will destroy the positivity you have tried to create. As the leader, you need to squash negativity as soon as you can, dealing with confrontations rather than turning a blind eye and finding ways to improve workplace relationships. You can’t control people’s feelings and emotions, but you can put your foot down when people get out of line and offer support when somebody feels aggrieved.
Make time for team-building
Directly tied into the issues raised above, a positive team is one who works well together. Now, many employees hate the idea of a team-building day, especially when it involves getting muddy or taking part in blindfolded trust exercises. Instead of breeding further resentment, find activities that can be enjoyable. Here are some great ideas to get you thinking when planning your team day, and they can be done in and out of the office.
You don’t always need to force your team together through activities designed to highlight strengths and weaknesses. Simply going out for the day, such as on a peaceful walk, or going for a meal, is going to bring people closer together. Conversation is an ice-breaker in itself, and people will find out more about each other in a natural way.
Reward good work
Some bosses constantly criticize their teams, even over minor details. Unless you want a workforce that feels demoralized and lacks confidence, you need to offer positive feedback instead. Take the time to recognize your team’s good work, and say ‘thank you’ once in awhile to show your appreciation. Go one further, and find opportunities to reward your team. Should you be stuck for ideas, here are 52 self-proclaimed ‘epic’ ideas for rewarding team members. They don’t need to break the bank, but spending a little money occasionally will give your team the sense of value they need when coming into work.
Focus on training
An untrained team will feel unmotivated when they can’t do the jobs they are given, and productivity will also suffer. Investing in training is crucial to keep your staff up to date with the latest work practices and technology. This will make your job easier, as well-trained staff will need less support from your expertise, though you should never neglect your own training needs, either. You may have risen to the ‘top’ but there are ways you can become a better manager by taking the right training courses.
Offer opportunity for growth
Tied in with training, your team needs the opportunity to grow. In some instances, team members will outgrow their position within your company, so you need to consider promotion options. Failure to do so will result in poor job satisfaction for the individual and may see them moving to on to a job elsewhere.
Your workforce also needs to grow together, as this will benefit your business in the competitive marketplace. As well as training events, find other avenues to gain knowledge such as business conferences where you can all learn from other industry professionals.
Show your human side
Whether your workforce believes it or not, you are only human! As the manager, you may want to hide your feelings and cover up any mistakes you make. Always putting across a superhuman image is not going to help your cause. Show your team your human side, and they will feel more comfortable about approaching you when they need help, and you might also gain some useful allies to aid you in your role.