How to be an effective manager in 2019
As a manager, there are specific responsibilities that will be expected of you, regardless of the industry you’re working in
In any organisation, it’s vital always to have some kind of a hierarchy (whether it’s spoken or unspoken). Each person within the company has a different role to play, and this ensures that everything runs smoothly and efficiently.
As you climb up the corporate ladder, responsibilities change from general day-to-day operations through to the management of people. Generally speaking, managers are leaders within an organisation. However, usually, there are people above that managers report to themselves.
The definition of a manager
A manager is a person entrusted with a leadership role who is responsible for overseeing a specific department or group of employees within a company.
Importantly, business models rely on a manager’s leadership, their ability to handle the operations of the business and their people management skills.
Of course, there are some circumstances where a manager will be in charge of the whole business. For example, in a restaurant, the manager may be responsible for the entire establishment.
What responsibilities do managers have?
- Day-to-day operations: Ensure the daily functioning of employees in a specific department or area of the business. This includes any administrative work and correspondences with other departments.
- Staffing: This includes interviewing and hiring new staff, handling performance reviews and problems when they arise and letting staff members go when things aren’t working out. It also includes rostering staff on and off in a shifting business.
- Training: Ensuring new employees have the tools they need to succeed in the business or helping existing employees with training and development.
- KPIs: It’s a manager’s job to provide key performance indicators for staff members and to follow up with employees to ensure KPIs are being met.
- Liaising: Managers need to be effective communicators between staff members and senior-level executives.
- Delegating: A key role of a manager is delegating tasks. It’s important to trust and have confidence in your employees so that you can effectively delegate according to what needs to be done. This also involves recognising each staff member’s strengths to ensure things get done efficiently.
- Motivation: Want to ensure you get the most out of your employees? Motivation is a crucial managerial trait. Create a supportive working environment to make sure your employees thrive.
It’s also essential to make time to interact one-on-one with your employees weekly. Whether this means a quick 10-minute catch up to understand what they are working on or a chat over coffee to help them debrief.
A group meeting is also a good idea, so the entire team is always on the same page.
What skills will you need?
The first thing to note here is that if you don’t possess all the necessary skills, a manager should – don’t despair. There are plenty of things you can do to upskill yourself.
Investing in your personal growth is an investment in your potential team’s growth, so it’s a win/win situation. In saying that, here are some necessary skills you’ll need to ensure you’re the very best manager you can be.
One of the most essential parts of being a manager is working alongside your employees to get the best out of their skills and ensure the best for the business.
It’s also about training and upskilling employees, delegating tasks and understanding each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
In order to fully cope with this side of the managerial role, it’s crucial to have excellent interpersonal skills.
This means being diplomatic, being a good listener and showing empathy to your staff.
Strategy and problem-solving
You’re leading a team, and part of that role is the strategy. You need to be strategic in how you manage your team and how you delegate. You also need to understand the overall strategy of the company to ensure you’re filtering that down to your staff.
In terms of problem-solving, chances are employees will come to you for advice when they’re facing difficulty. If they don’t, perhaps you’re not doing your job right.
You’ll need to be able to stay calm and focused when difficulties arise, multi-task when necessary and devise a solution when required.
Excellent communication skills
Whether it’s one-on-one, small group sessions or large group sessions, a manager must be an excellent communicator. This means listening, prompting and providing advice when asked.
It also means making sure your spoken and written communication skills are top-notch.
Know when to hold back and let your staff sort out the problem themselves, and when to step in. Know when to sit on an email before replying and how to keep your emotions in check.
This often means delegating, checking in with staff throughout the project and, when necessary, jumping in and getting your hands dirty to ensure the job gets done. It also involves understanding the financial element of the project and the business to ensure you’re staying on track.
Find something that helps lower your stress levels, whether it’s meditation, reading or exercise. Being a manager can be stressful, so it’s important to keep yourself in check.
Chances are you’re taking over from someone else unless a whole new department has been created. Don’t drastically change the management system as soon as you arrive. Observe the environment and slowly transition to your individual style.
Being a manager is a tough job with many different responsibilities, power dynamics and things to do. However, it’s also incredibly rewarding, as you witness your team making strides within the business.
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