Beginning this year, some of my colleagues will be contributing to the monthly manager/leadership blog posts. This way, you will be able to get some other perspectives on the topics of supervision, human resources and overall leadership. I will still be contributing to this topic every few months. On the other months, I will be writing about personal and professional topics unrelated to management.
To that end, here are what I consider some of the highlights from my posts over the last few years — my “Top 15 Management Tips”, if you will.
- Employees who feel positive about their work environment, supervisor and culture not only have a better attitude about their organization, but actually work harder, faster and more efficiently.
- When attempting to motivate employees, managers need to realize that each person has a unique set of needs that may or may not be readily shown. Managers should listen to their employees and be sensitive, when appropriate.
- When dealing with a “problem employee“, be sure to address the issue right away in a private setting. Explain the concern, listen to his/her side, create an action plan for next steps, always involve HR and document all personnel issues.
- It’s critical to solicit suggestions from staff, but it’s just as important to make sure you really listen to them. If it makes sense to enact procedural changes based on that feedback, then go ahead and implement. This way, employees begin to realize that when you ask for their opinion you really mean it, and people start to become empowered and invested in the company.
- Discourage gossip and rumors by using positive language to set the tone. It’s vital that you role model the expected behavior and lead by example. If you’re always complaining or focusing on the negative, this type of attitude will seep into your team and make it difficult for them to maintain a positive outlook, too. This, in turn, can affect productivity, customer complaints and turnover.
- Free yourself up to take on other relevant projects by delegating whatever tasks possible to your employees. This also allows them the ability to grow professionally and take on additional responsibilities.
- It is okay to have fun once in a while and show your employees you can be goofy and joke around, when appropriate. Try not to take things too personally. This helps humanize you and can make people feel more emotionally safe around you.
- When dealing with organizational change, your specific leadership style can have a dramatic influence on how effective it goes. Typically, the more respected and trusted a manager is perceived as being, the more likely that staff will approve or accept the changes.
- Show your employees that you care by acknowledging and showing gratitude for each individual’s efforts. Don’t be afraid to compliment someone for a job well done. This goes a long way towards productivity, attitude and loyalty. Private and public acknowledgment is critical to people feeling valued and appreciated. This can be done professionally (a major contribution at work), as well as personally (birthdays and special occasions).
- There will always be people that have an issue with you simply because you’re a manager. Don’t let it get to you. Most of the time, it really isn’t anything personal. Just let it roll off your back and focus on the positive.
- Your staff needs to know that you’re looking out for them and that you have their best interests in mind. If you suspect that a proposal will be overruled by your boss, still make the pitch and see what happens. Even if it’s denied, it will go a long way with your team in increasing their trust in you.
- You need to value and respect all of your employees. Show them this by listening to their questions/concerns, establishing good eye contact and body posture, and not being rude or unnecessarily short with them. Respect becomes trust and trust becomes loyalty. Show your employees that they are important to you, the team and the organization.
- Make sure to regularly communicate with your team. This includes “managing by mingling”, scheduling individual meetings where employees have dedicated time to review what’s going well, what needs improvement and upcoming goals, as well as scheduling team meetings to discuss important topics as a group. Whenever possible, pass information on to your employees about company policies, updates and news.
- Supervision through intimidation and micromanagement may get results on a short-term basis, but the best leaders are humble leaders. The best environment is where team members feel included, engage in positive interactions, and go above and beyond not because they have to, but because they want to.
- Bad bosses look out for themselves, good bosses look out for their teams and themselves, and amazing bosses look out for their teams at the expense of themselves. Another way to put it is that bad bosses only think of “I”, good bosses think of “We”, and amazing bosses think of “You”.
What are your thoughts? Do you have other suggestions? Do you have any personal stories you are willing to share? Please feel free to ask questions or share your experiences below.
- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
- Reflections for Managers by Bruce Hyland and Merle Yost
- Jeremy’s manager/leadership blog posts
Jeremy S. joined Empathia in 2007 as Manager, Client Care Services and currently serves as Account Manager/Sales Consultant. He is also a certified wellness and tobacco cessation coach. Jeremy has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Organizational Development. Prior to joining Empathia, he spent 14 years in the EAP industry in a variety of managerial/leadership roles at another behavioral healthcare organization. Jeremy enjoys reading, photography, music and spending time with his wife and daughters.