Being promoted or hired as a new manager often means that you’ll need to learn to communicate on a much wider scale. Whether it’s giving updates in public or reprimanding individuals, it may well be something that you have never done before.
All too often, managers underestimate the power of communication or are just plain bad at it. Either they don’t make time to listen to the team or they forget about the power of feedback; even if they do communicate, they may well hide behind technology and send email after email from the relative safety of their office.
A friend of mine, we’ll call him Jack, was certainly guilty of the latter. In charge of a team including some very bolshie individuals, he found it easier, and less daunting, to communicate by email rather than approach people face to face. He told himself he was too busy to keep leaving his office.
His 360 degree appraisal, however, certainly collared him. After every single employee questioned raised...
Imagine this scenario: one of your team has just completed an important project, or is halfway through, and it’s only then that you realize they are doing it wrong. Perhaps they’re using the wrong resources or they completely misunderstood what you wanted… is it necessarily their fault?
Most new managers at one point or another have faced this, or will come across it, and I’d like to fire a shot across your bow now… you may think the employee is stupid, incompetent, incapable, or just downright poor at their job BUT you must take some responsibility here.
Yes, I’m aware that we’ve already talked about a manager’s personal responsibility in mistake five, but it is potentially at the heart of numerous errors that managers can make in several different guises. You see, even if you pride yourself on taking your own mistakes on the chin (thus being responsible), you are still letting your employees down if you don’t give clear...
In this post I talk about how to be a good manager that employees love and want to work for. Inspirational managers aren’t necessarily the ones performing grandiose actions or trailblazing a new path across the business world. They aren’t necessarily the rich CEOs, motivational speakers or the brilliant strategists who have turned their businesses around.
A good manager is much simpler than that: it is someone in a position of authority who engenders a personal and authentic connection with their employees. Someone any individual member of staff can turn to without fear, whose door is (almost) always open, who listens and who wants to create a one-on-one connection with his or her employees. It’s as simple, and as complicated, as that.
Dale Carnegie Training has told us that nearly three-quarters of employees are unhappy at work, the majority due to their relationships with their immediate supervisor.
The one thing I always try to keep in mind when...
Whether you’re new to management, or have solid experience leading those in your charge, one of the keys to becoming a better manager is the cultivation of respect in the workplace.
It’s important to establish an effective foundation for the respect that is your due as a manager, in order to avoid sending the wrong message to your personnel. If your behaviour implies that you don’t appreciate just how important their professional contributions are, your employees are unlikely to feel motivated enough to perform to the best of their abilities.
Employee respect that goes beyond simple lip-service has to be earned. While it’s only natural to expect a certain level of deference from your employees, it’s also important to recognize that true respect is a two-way street, and not something that’s simply payable on demand. If you want it, you’ll have to learn how to give it. And the best way to...
When you’re a manager, one of your tasks will be to make sure you always have enough staff to cover for each day; i.e. effective scheduling. If you have a big team and you operate shift patterns, let me tell you now: it’s going to be a nightmare unless you are organised and efficient. You’ll either have people wanting more overtime so that they can earn more money (the best position to be in) or not enough people willing to volunteer for those night, weekend and holiday shifts.
If people beg you for more work, you can give them what you can but remember that you are not a charity; the business comes first and you need just the right amount of cover to enable you to make the most money. Explain to your staff that you do not have money for extra shifts which the company doesn’t need; stress that the company has to thrive in order for you all to have jobs. As such, it is not a charity.
You will have other people who want time off for parties and events; members...
As a manager, there’s no escaping one basic truth – you’re paid to make the difficult decisions. You may or may not be paid well, granted, but that doesn’t really matter; the title of ‘manager’ inevitably means that you’ll have to make some tough solo decisions now and again. As the phrase goes, the buck stops with you.
You could be forced to make tough budget decisions, fire poor providers, stop certain product lines, scale back on investments or even reluctantly decide to let something go that isn’t working. They’re tough enough decisions to make. Yet, as we’ll see in the second half of this book, these often tend to pale into insignificance when they compare to the decisions you may have to make about your personnel. These latter decisions may well be some of the most difficult problems you’ll ever have to deal with in your career.
You may have to decide to change people’s job descriptions, for...
Hiring good employees is one of the skill you need to develop as a manager.When you’re new to recruiting, it’s easy to make mistakes and hire the wrong employee. Perhaps the candidate sounded great on paper, put up a fairly decent show in interview and you thought it would be easier to offer them the job and be done with it.
It’s only once you start to work with them that the cracks show. Perhaps they don’t know certain skills, applications or tasks as well as they implied they did; maybe they make basic mistakes that someone of their level shouldn’t be making.
Whatever the issue, you can bet your other staff members will notice it before you do. Even if they don’t bring it to your attention immediately, you may spot their frustration and stress as they attempt to ‘carry’ an under-performing co-worker.
Hurrying recruitment is never a good thing, yet it’s a common mistake of new managers. Aware of the heavy workload and feeling...
There’s nothing worse than a manager who refuses to take responsibility and blames employees for everything that goes wrong with the department or company. Shifting the blame onto others beneath you is a sure fire way to destroy team morale, and is unfortunately quite common with novice managers who are too scared to admit they have messed up in front of executive leadership.
DON’T be one of those managers; it never has a good ending. They lose the respect of the team and often even their bosses, who can usually see straight through them.
Don’t believe the team won’t find out either; they invariably do and then they will never trust you again.
So ask yourself: have you ever, even in passing, said to your boss ‘Oh so-and-so did that, he messed up’ or ‘I asked so-and-so to do that but they didn’t’ or similar words and phrases? If you did, you are essentially trying to absolve yourself of guilt and place it onto individual members...
It’s a natural human instinct to want to be liked and managers are often just as needy as anyone else. Everyone wants to be the popular boss, the one who is beloved by their team and who people will do anything for.
I’m afraid it’s my job to shatter the myth right here: you CAN’T be friends with the people who report to you. Don’t even try, because I guarantee you that it will backfire at some point down the line.
Paul, the manager of a medium-sized social media company, learned this only too well. On the first day in his new job, he took his direct reports out for drinks to ‘get to know everyone.’ This seemed to go down well with his new employees, so he carried on the outings, the intimate one-on-one chats and socializing out of work. He gained two really good new friends out of it, and thought he was doing well.
That’s until his boss announced that the company was struggling and Paul would be expected to lay off half of his team. So...
What is the difference between leadership vs management? A manager’s job is to manage, right? Wrong! A good manager’s job is to lead, to inspire and empower employees to deliver for the company.
A great deal of the problems new managers face can be put down to managing and not leading.
Let me guess. You’re busy at work fighting fires, solving all those little problems that crop up each day. Desperately trying to get your own work done as well as making sure others can do theirs.
That’s micro-management, and over-control is one of the most common mistakes made by a new or novice manager. Some established managers also have this problem if they’ve never learnt any better.
Take Karen’s situation, a middle manager in charge of five people in a small bakery firm. The bakery is doing ok but Karen’s boss believes it could do so much better if they could find a more efficient way of working that gives individual team members more autonomy....