Every day another employee moves into a management position, perhaps without realizing that his or her life has just changed dramatically. While it’s often assumed that good managers are born rather than made, that’s not actually the case. Management skills can be learned. If you’ve recently moved into a management position, or you simply want to improve your management skills, take heart. Here are five quick ways to help you become a better manager, for your own sake and that of the employees you oversee.
1. Use the personal approach. Remembering that the employees you oversee are people first, not simply employees will help you tremendously as you manage them on a daily basis. Each person will have unique likes and dislikes, personalities and even quirks that make them who they are. Getting to know them individually, treating them with respect, and as you would want to be treated will help you be a better manager whatever your level of experience.
2. Learn to criticize without being critical. There is a fine line between constructive criticism and a critical attitude. Learning to tell employees when they’ve done something wrong without insulting them is important for any manager. It’s necessary to tell employees when they’ve missed the mark, but it can be done kindly and politely without name calling or yelling. Learning to manage well includes learning to correct others properly and respectfully.
3. Be open and available to your employees. Your employees need your guidance, assistance and direction as their manager. Offer them help if they need it, allow them to come to you with questions, ideas and complaints, and your personnel management skills will improve dramatically.
4. Encourage employees to improve themselves. Offer your subordinates the opportunity for training that will help them in their jobs as well as in their personal lives. Allow time for them to take online classes that will give them new skills they need. Create a comfortable office environment where they feel at ease and have a desire to spend time and you’ll be rewarded with happier employees who are much more productive and effective.
At the same time, continue to further your own education by taking online management courses, leadership workshops, interpersonal relationship seminars and other eLearning classes that can help you learn and grow as a manager. Letting employees see that continuing your education is important will help them value the opportunity to do so as well.
5. Give employees something to work toward. Letting employees know that there are rewards and incentives for a job well done will make your job as a manager much easier. Do your best to promote from within and encourage workers to strive for promotion. Offer added authority and responsibility to those who do a good job. Reward loyalty and recognize achievement. All of these factors will go far in helping to ensure your people do their best for the company, and for you.
Management skills may not come naturally to everyone, but almost anyone can learn to be a better manager. Strive to improve your skills, continually add to your knowledge and you’ll develop the resources needed to help people do their best work while enjoying your own work more fully.