Managing employees is a tricky business. In the fight to figure out exactly what needs to be done during a firm’s extended lifespan, a business manager must navigate the waters of many different employed personalities, and figure out what makes them most effective. He/she must manage workplace difficulties, keep a team on target, quickly stamp out negative discourse and altogether be a shining beacon of the department that they manage.
No matter the industry the manager works in – hospitality, retail, supply chain, procurement or even managing ballet dancers, the core tenets of what makes a solid managing strategy works are largely unchanged from place to place. It’s important to know exactly what these core tenets are and how to effectively apply them to all of the operations of your business for the better, not the worse.
Everyone knows what it’s like to work under an overbearing or otherwise not ideal manager, and you might too. In the effort to be ‘cool’ and ‘understanding’ you may simply come across as shallow and easily taken advantage of. This is the type of boss that Ricky Gervais’ ‘David Brent’ character was so fond of satirizing. The satire was so successful for a reason, and that’s because people could relate to it.
You can be a liked member of the team, but that comes at being firm, and displaying the following nine workplace virtues to gain the respect of your staff in the first place.
This is one of the most important virtues on this list. You need to be punctual to all meetings, shifts, and agreed-upon appointments. If you can, rarely take sick days. You need to be a consistent presence, and that is part of the job you sign up for when taking a management position. This article by Chrone highlights the benefits of workplace punctuality: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/punctuality-important-workplace-10253.html and will help you understand what this can achieve.
A manager should display every single personality trait that they’d like to see in the ideal worker. This helps prevent the ‘why should I?’ syndrome that occurs when employees see a manager who isn’t pulling their weight. The first rule of succeeding is to show up, so be sure to show up. This displays respect to your workplace and your colleagues who help keep it running.
However, do not make a big deal out of this. Do not try and make your employees bad for taking sick days. Do not tell them, ever, about how good you are at turning up for work. This breeds resentment and makes you look insecure. Instead, show your employees everything you want them to display.
What is a manager without a sense of humor? A drag. What does a manager how is a drag receive from his employees? Silent contempt. Subvert this process by contributing to office culture. You needn’t be the wittiest person in the room or even the most receptive to jokes, but be sure that you’re able to at least accept and understand that offices run on humor in order to make it through the day.
Be mindful of jokes made at others expense, but don’t get too uptight if this makes its way to you. Within reasonable, respectful parameters (which are hard to be described but are more instinctually felt,) a joke can serve to break the barriers between people and give them common footing. If the office humor becomes mean spirited, deal with it silently, only involving the person who made that joke to afford them the privacy and respect of a silent discussion. Humor is a must, but how far it goes is up to you.
Effective communication is the key skill of any manager. Making sure you can speak effectively, clearly, simply and with brevity will serve you well throughout all of your working life. People like to understand concepts using clear and short sentences that have little room for interpretation. This is an art and must be trained over time. Use imperative words, like a TV Chef uses such as ‘put, order, book, sell’ to precede your sentences with an action that allows your employee to instantly recognize what you want from them.
Leadership is a term that sounds great on the surface but requires a little more digging to be thoroughly understood. Leadership isn’t the simple ability to make all of the right decisions at the right time, but instead, create an atmosphere that allows you and your team to find those right answers together.
A listening, open ear, a quiet mention of praise, and treating your employees well can go a long way to helping you self-define as a leader. It’s important to continually hone your skills in managing your staff well, such as by visiting Exponential Programs at http://www.exponentialprograms.com to research how to successfully keep up with that responsibility.
As a leader/manager, every decision you make to better yourself is a decision made to benefit your department.
As a manager, you must be resourceful. You must be one step ahead in dealing with any queries your team might have, and understand how to operate every single role that you’re managing. To do so requires competence and further outside research, but it’s worth doing.
‘Firm But Fairness’
This is self-evident. You must command respect, but you must earn it first.
A keen eye for both detail and workplace happenings are the cornerstones of any successful managing policy. It’s your job to proverbially ‘dot the i’s and cross the ‘t’s,’ in effect signing off on any and all work done by your department in your name. To effectively do this requires a keen eye for detail, one that can best understand how the department works and all of the minor pitfalls it can find itself in that hamper progress.
But, being observant is much more than this, too. It might manifest as being acutely socially aware of an intrinsically threatening social situation in your department, such as an employee turning up to work regularly hungover, or a workplace bullying scenario that needs rectifying immediately. To be observant is to have eyes in the back of your head, and this means diligently understanding the social personas of those who make up your department and working with them in the most healthy, helpful way.
Nuance in approach is very important in a manager. It’s concerned with understanding how to communicate with each individual that comprises your team effectively, how to stay interested in them, and how to make the most of them. It might sound offensive to say, but managing a workplace team of adults isn’t that different from what a schoolteacher does during his/her working day. Navigating personality well is something that requires a deft and subtle touch, but done right is immensely satisfying for everyone involved.
Openness is a tricky virtue to define, but it is intrinsically important to any successful strategy of managing the quirks of any individual. Best defined, it simply means staying open and available to talk at all times. Even if you don’t particularly understand a certain employee and the niche of their personality (which is likely to happen sooner rather than later,) that doesn’t mean you both can’t share a relationship built on mutual respect and open communication.
An effective manager is an effective manager because they work at it diligently. It’s very rare for someone to have such a wholesome list of positive attributes from the get-go that allow them to flourish in a management role. For the most part, successful managers are made and not born. It takes effort, plenty of mistakes and numerous social experiences for a manager to be great at what they do.
Work on these virtues, and you’ll be off to a brilliant start.
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