Businesses are beginning to rediscover the need for effective managers. They have tried self-managed teams and unsupervised work groups only to find that the lack of leadership hinders productivity and creates unstable work environments. During the self-management fad, managers became really good at managing projects but lost their ability to manage people. Learn how to become a better manager with a free online course.
Now that the self-management fad is ending, companies are finding it difficult to rein in employees because their managers no longer have the people-skills needed to lead. Giving Human Resources direct control over the daily management of employees is not the answer. A strong manager must be present and leading from the front.
Here are some tips that will help build strong people management skills:
1. Build Relationships
Managing is about people. Great managers build lasting relationships with their people that are based on trust, respect and communication. Building relationships with employees does not mean that you have to become their friend. It means that you have to earn their trust and respect. An excessively friendly approach can be just as damaging to a work relationship as abusive control. Managers must learn to be open and approachable without becoming the employee’s buddy. Taking an online course can help you become an effective leader.
2. Be Accountable
Managers are quick to hold employees accountable for performance failures or bad behavior. They are quick to deflect fault to upper manager or other department heads. When they fail to hold themselves accountable, the fail to manage their people. Manager’s need to realize that the buck stops here. They are responsible for the actions of their employees. They are responsible for the performance of their departments. No one else is to blame. The responsibility is theirs, and theirs alone.
Managers willing to take a bullet for their employees are able to gain the respect and trust needed to effective manager their people. This does not mean that you should let employees get away with poor performance or bad behavior. It means that you, and you alone, should be the one holding them accountable for their actions while you, and you alone, are accountable to upper management.
There is more to listening that just opening your door to let employees vent. They are legitimate concerns and you must be willing to hear them out. But listening goes even farther. You must be willing to act on those concerns. Do not shake your head and tell them you understand. Do something about it.
Great managers also do not wait for employees to come to them. Instead, these managers are always listening. They listen to water cooler chatter and break room gossip. They proactively seek feedback and address issues before they create any problems.
4. Be Transparent
Never hide anything from your people. It is deceptive and can cost you their respect. This does not mean that you should blab inside information that upper management has deemed confidential. Just keep them informed on what is going on inside the company and inside the department. Let them know why certain decisions were made. While employees are not entitled to this information, keeping them in the loop is part of a trusting relationship. You can learn the principles of leadership by taking an online course.
5. Support Career Development
Good employees are hard to find and even harder to replace. In an attempt to keep good employees, some manager avoid career development. They do not help their people prepare for future advancement opportunities within the company. As a manager, your primary responsibility is the welfare of your employees. It is in their best interests to be prepared for advancement within the company. It is also in the company’s best interests to identify good employees and make sure they are promoted to positions where they can better support the company.
Management is leadership. They are inseparable. Learning people management skills will make you a better leader and a valuable asset for your company. Jack Welch’s Leadership in Action course will teach your how to better manage your people.