10 HR Approved Tips on Being a Great Manager

A good manager is an important asset for any company to have, no matter how big or small the company is. With so much of our modern lives spent in the working environment, finding someone who can create a comfortable and mutually beneficial environment isn’t just good for company morale and for marketing, but it also helps prevent unhappy employees and a whole array of other employment-related problems, such as burn-out and high-turnover. An unhappy working team is costly: employees who are unhappy will leave their job for different opportunities, and the cost of training new employees can really add up. 

Posted on: Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

A manager who is actively involved in creating and nurturing a happy team can make a big difference to the overall success of the company, and to the working environment at large. Here’s a few things a good manager can, and should, do to make their team feel noticed and supported: 


(1) Help your employees shine by truly empowering them. You rise by helping others, so don’t feel threatened.

Your employees are going to be your best asset. The way you run your team is going to reflect back not just on your own skills as a manager, but also as to what kind of person you are, and that can help a lot when you’re working with people. Employees who have a potential to reach and the understanding that they can get to where they need to be with help should be helped; while it can mean that, in the long-run, they’ll learn skills that are on par with your own, a good manager doesn’t stop encouraging people on the off-chance that they can one day reach their position – and employees who are pushed to try their best by their manager will get to see that the company they work for really cares about them.


(2) Understand the strengths of each team member and play by their strengths.

Every team member is going to have one particular skill that they excel in, and it’s the job of a good manager to figure out what that skill is and make sure that they have the opportunity to use it as often as possible. Whether it’s research, customer service, or multitasking, getting to know each employee’s strengths is important to keep work streamlined and efficient, as well as your team running smoothly. 


(3) Enable your people to grow – learn where the areas of growth are and devise plans to get there.

Change is good, especially in work environments. Your employees might have started out at a particular level, but do any job for long enough, and you’ll start to learn and expand into your role. However, there are always going to be some parts of the job which can be weaker than the others, such as time-keeping or project management. While you should encourage their strengths and to push them to do better, understanding where the weak points are in a working environment can help ease the frustration that comes with watching an employee make mistakes. Better yet, figure out if those weak points can be helped, and make up a plan that can help solve your issue. 


(4) Take the time to really listen to your team – time spent listening is an investment, not a waste.

In a working environment, it’s easy to forget that you only really see a part of the team that you work with, and that a lot goes on in their lives that they might be – inadvertently – bringing into the office. Really take time to listen to your team, not just about work-related issues but also about anything else they feel comfortable sharing. You might be surprised at what you learn. 


(5) Accept that conflict is a normal part of managing a team. Use conflict to learn and develop but be firm when needed and ensure that standards and (positive) discipline are maintained.

People are going to disagree, and those disagreements will spill over into work. Understanding the source of any conflict and disagreement can go a long way towards repairing bridges and making sure that the team still functions positively and in a supportive way. 


(6) Encourage candid feedback. Listen, evaluate, act and get back to the people who gave you feedback.

Ideally, feedback should be a two-way street: you might have a lot of thoughts on how to to best help your employees, but it’s possible that they might have some advice for you as well, so make sure you’re always open and available to listen to feedback about yourself as often as you’re available to give feedback. Also make sure that your employees know it’s okay to give you feedback, and that no repercussions will follow. 


(7) Be a role model and act with integrity. 

You represent the company in more than one way, and it’s important to make sure that representation is a good example to everyone who works with you. No matter what situation you are in, make sure that you act in the right way: respectful, understanding, and ready to help out. 


(8) Celebrate diversity and foster an atmosphere where people are comfortable being themselves

A company can’t run on one kind of person alone, and diversity is a good thing to have to bring in different perspectives even amongst the consumers you deal with. To that end, make sure that the office environment is inclusive of everyone, and people can feel like they can come forward and talk to you about things that are making them uncomfortable and upset. 


(9) Block some time every week to think strategically – don’t get so lost in the day to day that you lose sight of the big picture.

You should have an idea of where you are going from here, so take time every week to plan for the future: attainable goals, small goals, and even just day-to-day improvements. Although this might seem like it’s cutting into your time spent on your work, planning for the future is as much a part of your job as the rest of it. Don’t avoid it just to squeeze in another meeting or a half hour’s work on the spreadsheets. 


(10) Invest in yourself and develop your own skills and abilities – never stop learning.

If you’re encouraging your employees to grow, you should also make sure that that encouragement extends to yourself. A manager shouldn’t stop learning just because they have already reached the position they want to be in; in fact, they should be learning more! Fill up your spare time with courses that make the most of your skills, and see where they take you. 

Interested in learning more about HR? We’re always willing to help out – get in touch!