A good manager is an important ingredient in a successful business. That’s because good managers earn the respect of their staff, and this often translates into hardworking, productive employees. On the other hand, a manager with poor managerial skills can be extremely toxic to employees, and can lead to a negative working environment. The good news is, an effective managerial technique is a learned skill. You just need to be able to recognize what it is you may be doing wrong and what steps you can take to fix it.
Five indications your management style doesn’t work
It may be obvious, or not so obvious. If you’re not sure, the following five signs can be a tip-off that your employees are not on board with the way you’re managing them:
- Staff turnover is high. Do you feel as if you’re finding and hiring new workers, only to watch them leave not that long after? Or maybe employees who have been with the company for a long time are suddenly giving their two weeks’ notice. If more and more people are leaving your company, it can be a sign that they don’t like the way they’re being managed.
- Productivity is low. This can be especially apparent if you have a benchmark by which to measure productivity; for example, if employees who used to churn out a large volume of work are now completing much less. When employees become discouraged with their work situation, their productivity usually goes down.
- Your employees are complaining. You may overhear them, or get a notification from human resources if one of your staff members voices a complaint. If your company conducts workforce satisfaction surveys, this is another way you can learn of employee dissatisfaction. Lastly, your employees may complain directly to you that they aren’t happy with the way the company is being run.
- Your staff avoid you. This might happen in the hall or within your department. Or, you may notice that some of your employees are having a conversation that ends as soon as you walk up, or they avoid eye contact. Whatever the reason, if your staff is reluctant to talk to you, it could be that your management style is making them uncomfortable.
- You’re doing too much work. An effective manager must be a hard worker to inspire hard work in his or her employees. However, your efforts should be spent running the business, not doing the tasks of your employees. The best managers know how to delegate work appropriately and then oversee employee progress. If you find yourself doing too much of the heavy lifting, you probably aren’t doling out enough responsibility as you should.
Ways to be a better manager
If any of the above items ring true, don’t despair! You can take steps to turn things around. Here’s how:
- Be clear about job objectives. A lack of communication can be frustrating to your staff. Work with each of your employees to develop job goals, and meet regularly to review progress. When you assign tasks, be specific, give plenty of information and answer any questions an employee might have.
- Deal with conflict head on. This helps to build respect among your staff. When conflict rears its ugly head, figure out what has caused the issue and deal with it. Be fair, yet direct. Keep an open- door policy so your employees feel comfortable discussing concerns with you, but stay wise to any “he said, she said” so you can remain objective in your conflict resolution.
- Keep an open mind. Understand that even though you have good ideas, your way may not always be the best way. Listen to employees’ suggestions and use them to help improve policies and processes, as appropriate.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate. When you give your employees more responsibility, it shows them you trust them and believe in their skills. Assign tasks to your employees that challenge them, but be ready to provide support and guidance to help them get the job done well.
You can do it!
By identifying possible issues and taking steps to rectify them, you’ll be well on your way to becoming manager of the year. All it takes is practice and your own commitment to success.
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