People have been managing other people for years, yet somehow many find it difficult to effectively lead a team. Being a 21st century manager doesn’t simply involve the distribution of tasks, it also involves working with your people to get the most out of them. If you’re new to a leadership role, there are a number of unofficial rules for managing staff. These range from personal qualities to the working environment that you create as a boss. For our selection of the top six, see below.
1. Get to know your staff
As a leader, you should know your direct staff on a first name basis, as well as at least one of their personal interests. It is important to build a personalised relationship with each employee as this helps for you to understand his or her strengths and weaknesses on the job. It also makes them feel valued in the workplace and will assist in increasing their job satisfaction.
2. Be approachable
When employees feel that they can’t approach their manager about personal leave, workplace issues or clarification, this makes for a hostile working environment. A good manager should be approachable and happy to answer questions whenever a staff member desires. This trait will also assist in a more transparent working environment among both managers and employees.
3. Offer value to staff
One of the golden rules of managing staff is to ensure that you encourage them to grow within their careers. When work is completed, make sure that you provide feedback so that they can continue to build their skillset. As their manager, you are likely to be able to provide valuable insight, so share this with your employees and ensure they are always learning.
4. Celebrate wins
When good feedback is warranted, a job has been completed to a high standard, or key goals are met – congratulate your staff. Celebrating wins within the office helps to improve staff morale and again increase their job satisfaction. An employee who feels valued within their role is more likely to stick around through both the highs and the lows.
5. Encourage innovation
It is important to foster a working environment that is supportive of innovation and new ideas. It is amazing what can happen when staff are comfortable in thinking out of the box – some of the best progress can be made. Make sure employees are aware that they can suggest anything they think will better the business in an environment which is free from judgment.
6. Be flexible
With the demands of modern day life, a proper work life balance is essential for employees. If staff have children and therefore need to have flexible working hours, it is recommended that this is permitted. Similarly, don’t make employees feel guilty for using their annual leave – they are entitled to it and should enjoy their breaks throughout the year. Ultimately, this flexible environment will benefit the business as staff are less stressed and in a positive frame of mind.
What do you think?
Can you think of any other golden rules for managing staff to add to the list? I’d love to hear from both seasoned and new managers, as well as those who can share the qualities they’d like to see in a manager. Comment below and share your views.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.