Being a manager takes great skill, and although many people can do an adequate job, that’s not the same as being excellent, and it is managerial excellence that really makes the difference when it comes to the productivity and happiness of your team, and by extension the success of the business. Here are some useful tips on just how to be a better manager and get the most out of the people working for you.
More and more employees want and need a flexible work schedule. The days of Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm are disappearing, and so should your expectations that your team will be able to work those hours. Offering flex-time means that your team will probably be a lot more productive because they won’t be worried about how much time they’re spending in the office. They’ll be able to work at times when their brains are most active (some people work better early in the morning, for example, whereas others need some time to wake up and the afternoon is when they get most of their work done). As long as you can contact everyone when they are needed and as long as they meet their deadlines, the hours and the location shouldn’t be too much of a concern. A manager who understands this will be a manager whose team works hard for them.
Be Kid Friendly
Parents have to work, and a good proportion of your workforce will have kids. Therefore you need to be understanding when an employee needs to take a day off because their little one is unwell and can’t get to school, or because they have a school play to attend. Making a workplace kid-friendly takes more than understanding though; it also takes action. That action can come in the form of unlimited sick days, and a medical center within the workplace itself that makes getting seen so much easier (for the kids and the parents). Other options include childcare discounts, or even arranging a creche for pre-school children. For those who go to school arranging camps for the summer or over the winter school break can allow parents to be much more present and do better work.
You Make It Fun
A good manager makes the workplace a fun, creative place to be. You can do this by imposing fewer boundaries and encouraging free thought. It can be as crazy as attending meetings on scooters as they do in the Facebook offices, or as caring as having a room that allows for quiet meditation when it is needed. You might book a masseuse to come to the office once a week to relieve your employees’ stress or have pizza delivered on a Friday lunchtime. It can be many little things that come together to create a place where people are happy to be and where they want to do well. Of course, it’s important that you are still in control, so there may be times when you need to be harder on people than you might like, but this is all part of being a good manager.
You Aren’t Distracted
If you want your employees to be fully there when they are at work, you need to be too. A distracted manager will always be noticed, and there may be a minority in your team that takes advantage of this. If you have anxiety or stressful situations at home, leave them at home whenever possible. Of course, it is easier said than done, of course, and if it really isn’t possible then ensure that you take the time to solve those problems so that you are a happier, more present manager. If you need some extra cash, for example, you can apply for Bonsai Finance loans. If you are unwell, make sure you see your doctor. If you need a time out, take it. When you come back, you’ll be able to manage much better, and your employees will thank you for it.
You Know Your Employees
As a good manager, you should be aware that your employees have lives outside the office, and that for most of them, their lives are much more important than the job they are doing for you. It is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s completely normal. Knowing a little something about those other lives is something that all good managers should do because this gives you a much greater understanding of your team members, and what motivates them. What are their hobbies? Talk to them about what they do in the evenings and at weekends. Find out whether they have spouses or partners, how many kids they have, where they like to vacation, where they grew up. Don’t so snooping though – the best way to get this kind of information is to talk to your employees. Tell them about yourself too. Working with people you know is a lot more fun than working with strangers.
You Give Rewards
Recognizing when an employee has done something excellent makes a big difference. It will make that employee feel worthy and appreciated. What’s more, it will make them try even harder next time because they know that what they’re doing counts. Some manager may even want to offer incentives or rewards for a job well done. It could be anything from a box of chocolates to a mini break – it all depends on what kind of business you’re in and how much money the employee brings in. Offering bonuses, additional holidays, even a pay rise if the work calls for it can all be great motivators. However, as a good manager, you’ll know not to hand these prizes out without thinking. There has to be a good deal of effort on the part of the employee, and you need to be fair and firm about the rewards that you choose to give.
You Inspire People
A good manager should always strive to inspire the people whom they manage. Arrive on time (or early), dress smartly, speak well, work hard, and show your team what can be done. People will always work harder for someone they admire, look up to, and respect, so if you can be that person, you will be an excellent manager.