When you start a job, you spend time seeking promotion. You do whatever it takes to get noticed and remembered. Then, that promotion comes, and you are immediately looking for the next step on the ladder. Doing what you can to go further. Then, at some point, you become a manager. Whether it’s of a few staff, or a 100, getting that first management position is exciting. You’ve got responsibility, a higher pay and the esteem that comes with a good job title.
For many people, this is where things start to go wrong. They forget what it’s like to be an employee. They forget everything they have complained about their managers doing. They become that manager.
It’s important to remember that becoming the boss isn’t the end of your career progression and that there is a huge difference between a great boss and one that no one wants to work for. Becoming a great boss means that your staff will go the extra mile for you. You will be respected, and you and your team will hit all of your targets and goals. Here’s a closer look at how you can ensure that you’re not just a manager, you are a great one.
1. Don’t Just Lead – Be Part of the Team
Staff like a manager that is willing to get stuck in. Not one that sits up in their office, separate from everyone else. If there’s a deadline to be met, or a sickness bug strikes you workforce, step up and help instead of watching everyone struggle.
This will increase respect and make sure you never lose touch with the workforce. It doesn’t hurt to remind yourself how hard they work either.
2. Golden Rules Still Rule – Trust and Loyalty
One thing we ask for from our staff is loyalty. But, do you give it back? Believe in your team, and trust them. Don’t go looking for replacements or criticizing them at the first hurdle. Stick with them, offer them advice and support and show them loyalty. You’ll get it back tenfold.
3. Invest in Your Team – Ongoing Training and Development
One place many companies fail is continued training. New staff start, they get basic training and then in no time they are thrown in to do the job alone. Having to meet high expectations they are not ready for.
Make sure that you implement an in-depth training program to give your staff the best chance to do a good job. Give them the knowledge and tools they need to meet the high expectations you have of them. And remember, training should never stop. If something changes or new advancements mean that your systems change, instead of just sending out a memo, schedule a training session and make sure you take the time to offer extra help to anyone that needs it.
4. Be Honest with Your Staff
Honesty is something that all staff have the right to expect from their managers and all managers ask for from their employees. If something is going on behind the scenes, instead of keeping quiet, take the time to explain to your staff. Answer their questions and ease their worries. Try to always remember that the people that work for you do it for a reason. While they hopefully love their jobs, that isn’t their sole reason for working. They have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Being worried at work reduces productivity massively. So, be honest with your staff.
You should also be honest with your assessments of their work. Often, when mistakes are made, it’s left unmentioned at the time, and then a huge fuss is made in appraisals. Instead, be honest straight away. Have a casual chat, explain the problem and then let it go.
5. Be Approachable – Keep an Open Door
You don’t have to literally keep your door open if you don’t want to, although that can be a good idea. But, you should still create an open-door atmosphere. Be friendly, chat with your staff and get to know them. Help them and be a shoulder to cry on. Take the time to remember details, allowing you to ask questions. Just asking how their kids are, or how they spent their weekend can increase loyalty and trust. Be there for them when they need you.
6. Don’t be Stuck – Be Flexible
Flexible working conditions are a huge problem in the modern workplace. More women than ever are returning to work once they have had children. Which is fantastic for the economy and can help you to create a productive and engaged team. However, it’s hard on parents. Both mothers and fathers. They want to work, but they have other commitments, and childcare arrangements can be inflexible. This means work needs to be. Offer solutions, understand that for your staff to work well, they need to be able to do so around other commitments and appreciate that sometimes things come up.
Offering flexibility will help you to build a reputation as a great employer, allowing you to attract and keep, the very best staff and promote a happy workplace.
7. Have Clear Expectations
So many companies and managers have such high expectations of their staff but never explain them. Members of the team are judged or reprimanded for not hitting targets they didn’t know they had. This is vastly unfair.
Give your staff targets. For long-term progression, their personal development, company targets and even day to day goals. Make sure you always explain very precisely what you want from them, update them on any changes and give them the skills and tools they need to meet your expectations.
8. Hold Regular Appraisals
Regular appraisals are often overlooked, especially when it’s busy. Schedule them for quieter times and even consider leaving the office so that you won’t get interrupted. Give each member of staff your full attention and spend time listening to what they want from you, as well as telling them what you need from them.
9. Keep Learning
Remember, there is always something to learn. Keeping up to date on new developments and techniques in your field won’t just help you to be a better boss. It’ll also help when it comes to negotiating your own salary. It’s essential that you always have something to offer both your company and your staff, by knowing your job and your industry. With young, up and coming graduates entering the job market every day, if you make the mistake of thinking that you know it all, you will soon get left behind.
10. Strive for Success – Don’t Stand Still
Push for success. Be it in your own development, by setting yourself targets and asking your superiors what you can do to improve. Or, pushing your company forward. In the modern world, where new businesses start up every day, standing still is going backwards. Strive for success in absolutely everything you do and have a clear plan of where you want to take your company in both the short and long-term. Share these targets with your staff, and let them
know what part they will play, however big all small.
11. Sustain the Long Hours – Have Fun
You can do more and more efficiently if you enjoy your work. If your staff hear you complaining about work, or sees that you are in a negative mood, they will feed off it. You may not realize it, but your attitude and demeanor set the tone of the whole workplace and effects those that work around you. Enjoy your job, have fun doing it and let people feed off your positivity. Remember, mood is contagious.
Being a great, well-respected manager means that if you ever wanted to start out on your own, you’d have the skills and support to do it. Remember, if you want it, there are always more opportunities for career progression and advancement. Being a manager doesn’t mean you’ve hit the ceiling.
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