Often, even people in a management role don’t really want to be managing. They want to be creating or meeting customers in person or brainstorming their next big venture. Leadership is important, though, and you can become an excellent manager without sacrificing your other business priorities. Here’s how:
Put Effort Into Team-Building
At first, you may roll your eyes at the idea of team building. We’re not talking about trust falls and boring group lunches, though. Team building and leadership activities can happen in all sorts of environments and in any number of ways. Great managers find creative ways to continually motivate their team.
If you want to teach leadership skills, create a scavenger hunt and make one person on each team the leader. If you want your employees to work on more difficult challenges together, give them an “Egg Drop” challenge. If you want them to dive into some healthy competition, consider gamification, and require team members to help each other out when it comes to areas where certain employees lack skills.
Know How to Manage Time
Managing employees is partly about managing time. There are only so many hours that your team can be at work, so it’s important to use that time wisely. You have to strike the right balance between ensuring your team gets their work done and avoiding overworking them so that they can continually be productive.
As a manager, you have to know which tasks to say “no” to, and you should teach your team the same. On your end, you want to make sure that the goals and timelines you set out for your team are realistic. For your employees, you’ll want to teach them how to prioritize and how to determine which tasks to tackle first.
Reward Hard Work
When one of your employees does something that goes above and beyond their regular job, make to sure reward them or to at least recognize them. You can send them an email that says you appreciate their hard work, or you can give them something more tangible, like a mug they can use at work or a monetary bonus.
You should recognize the employee in front of others (so a congratulatory email by itself isn’t enough). Not only will the employee feel good about themselves, but your other employees will realize that hard work is rewarded, which may motivate them to over-perform, too. Always make sure you’re consistent when it comes to recognition and rewards so that it doesn’t look like you’re favoring certain employees.
Trust and Empower Your Employees
One of the best things a manager can do is delegate. Instead of trying to micromanage your employees, learn which ones can handle certain tasks, then hand off some of your work to your most capable employees. You don’t have to control everything that goes on in your office. Instead, you’ll have a much easier job managing if you can trust your employees and even empower them to make decisions on their own and handle a more advanced workload. Plus, you’ll end up getting more work done in less time.
Even in the most serious offices, great managers know how to bring a bit of levity. Running a company is no small feat, but you can still make your work environment a fun, supportive and peaceful place for your employees. If you’re able to create this type of workplace, your employees will want to show up to work every day instead of trying to figure out whether or not to call in sick.
There’s so much more to being a manager than knowing how a business runs. Being in the same company or industry for several years doesn’t automatically make a person a good manager, either. With the skills above, you can stand out from other managers who are happy just being mediocre.
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