Being a good manager can be hard, but taking the time to practice positive behavior and good habits can go a long way in keeping your employees happy and your business union-free.
Good managers know their strengths and weaknesses equally, and they work hard to improve on both. When managers are bad, they are ineffective, poorly organized, and breed employee unrest and dissatisfaction. And when this happens, productivity declines, and the business begins to falter.
At Adams, Nash, Haskell & Sheridan, we understand how pivotal a manager is to not only a business’ profits and success, but also to its ability to enact union avoidance policies. Below are six tips for being a great manager; and if you have some we didn’t list, feel free to tell us by tweeting it to @ANHSlabor or commenting on LinkedIn.
Keeping your employees in the dark about company practices, problems, and projects can cause enormous issues. Taking the time to keep your employees informed about upcoming changes, new projects or tasks, and important deadlines can help everyone feel relaxed, involved, and stay organized.
Be sure to provide clear direction, and always have time to answer questions or listen to feedback. Employees want to know they matter, and helping them understand that they do is simple by involving them in the daily goings of your business.
Set a Good Example
Your employees look to you in times of high productivity and in times of crisis. If you demand hard work, respect, professionalism, and dedication, then you need to also demand that of yourself. They will not respect you nor enjoy work if you act opposite from what you are demanding.
You are their in-office role model. So, if you want error-free work, deadlines met, and a friendly environment, you need to help by making sure you too check your work, meet your own deadlines, and walk in with a smile and friendly face each day.
No business is perfect, but everyone can help make it better by contributing ideas for change. Encourage your employees to come to you with an “open-door” policy. Let them know their feedback is always welcome and that you will listen with an open mind to any problems they are having or changes they’d like to suggest. This will not only improve employee relations but can help improve your company overall.
Everyone likes attention, and publicly recognizing your employees’ efforts and achievements will build confidence, improve employee relations, create a friendly and positive atmosphere, and motivate others in the office. Recognition is the best and most inexpensive reward you can offer your employees.
Here are some suggestions:
- Send an email blast each week recognizing one employee for something they did.
- If you have monthly or weekly meetings, have some positive notes on individuals to touch on while everyone is gathered together.
- If it’s time for your annual office party, well make sure every employee is recognized and thanked in some small way.
Stick To Your Decisions
Leaders are chosen because of their ability to make decisions and stick with them. If you begin to change your decisions or go back-and-forth when discussing changes, rules, and procedures, then your employees will lose respect for you and confidence in you. This will also make them anxious and frustrated, because they will not know what decisions are actually the ones in place and will fear violating rules or procedures, because they don’t understand which are in place.
When you make a decision, stick to it, and if it ends up being the wrong one, apologize and then fix it.
Deal Directly With Conflict
The workplace isn’t always peaceful or productive. It is often prone to inner-office conflict based on personal issues, compensation, recognition, cost cutting, layoffs, and more. The best managers tackle these conflicts head on as soon as they arise.
Address the problem quickly and fairly to avoid an office blowout. Listen to both sides of the argument at hand and then decide upon a solution. Not everyone may like it, but employees respect a manager who takes action and confronts difficulties.
Other great management articles to explore:
“What Bad Managers, Good Managers and Great Managers Do” by Mark Graban
“Top Ten Leadership Tips For First-time Managers” by Profiles International
“6 Fundamentals That Can Make You a Better Manager in 2014” by Victor Lipman.