Overcoming personal obstacles will always be a common theme in any management position. Your problem solving skills will be pushed to their limits when dealing with management challenges and fast-paced situations on a daily basis.
So when all these balls are thrown your way at once, don’t let you prevent yourself from catching them. You can do your very best to manage the people around you – but at the end of the day, only you can control yourself and your actions. So here are 10 things you can do to manage better right now.
1. Listen more
Let’s face it – sometimes you need to lead with force. At certain times being an authoritative leader can be beneficial, especially in a crisis type of situation. When problems need to be solved quickly you need to direct people just as fast – without giving a thought to the opinions of those you manage. However, just like everything else in life, moderation is key when it comes to being an authoritative leader.
Great leaders not only listen carefully to their employees, but they will engage with their thoughts and ideas as well. The simple act of listening to your employees shows them that their voice matters – and it’s an act that has great potential for future endeavors.
2. Create an open workplace
It helps when you wake up each morning and want to go to work. Of course, there are many factors that can influence an individual’s mood or drive towards work – but as a manager you can provide a fun and comfortable workplace to improve employee performance. When your employees get excited about work, they want to improve and help each other for the benefit of the company.
So create an open space by having employee appreciation days, holiday parties, or incentive programs. Businesses are only as good as their employees – and as a manager it’s up to you to show these people their work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Recognize their efforts to show them the work they do is very much appreciated.
3. Allow feedback
Building off the first two ways to manage better is allowing for employee feedback. As a manager, you will always be the one to make the final call. Some decisions are extremely hard to make and might even keep you up at night. But you also want to prevent your employees second guessing each decision you make.
To avoid this situation, go ahead and ask your employees how they would have handled a problem. Or in the future ask a select few of individuals what path they might take when looking to solve a problem. You don’t even have to follow their suggestions, but rather make an effort to include them in the decision-making process. The only stupid question is the one that’s never asked, and it’s always helpful to hear various perspectives from your employees.
4. Don’t micromanage
At a certain point you need to begin trusting the work style of your employees. Some managers will constantly be checking up on their subordinates – essentially never moving on from the new hire training stage. You don’t want to be a helicopter parent and you should always avoid micromanaging your employees.
These individuals not only have the skills and knowledge needed in their line of work, but they should also be confident in their own decision-making. When you micromanage you create unwanted stress, as your employees feel like you don’t trust them in their ability to perform. You should be focusing on the big picture, so leave the minor decisions to the people who can handle them.
5. Be open to change
The world is and will always be changing. From new advancements in technology, to an explosion of business trends – being stale as a manager could potentially hurt you down the road. Listen to your employees and learn about their problems. Maybe they have an idea that could help the business as a whole. Or study your competition – what are they doing better than you?
Every business sector is different, but once you start taking in more information and learn about what you could be accomplishing, it will provide you with unlimited growth. In today’s fast-paced world, what’s hot today might be unappealing tomorrow.
6. Critique yourself
Your employees will make mistakes and it’s up to you as a manager to let them know. But who’s to tell you when you’ve made one? As a manager don’t get caught up in a dictator state of mind where you dish out orders and reflect criticism that comes your way. Don’t assume you will always do the right thing either.
Start asking yourself questions like what you could have done better after a tough decision has been made. You need to be confident in your ability to manage, but don’t hesitate to take a moment for self-reflection. When you critique yourself you analyze your ability to manage and you prepare yourself to be a better leader for your employees.
7. Improve the flow
You should always be looking for ways to improve the process. By cutting out unnecessary steps you can save money and do things quicker – making your customers happy as a result. It’s no secret that companies are looking to eliminate wasted resources.
Six Sigma is one common resource that is used to analyze the production process to rid out wasted resources and improve quality. But you don’t need a formal guideline that could take months to see results. Create an open forum by asking your employees what they think about the current process and how their daily tasks could be improved. The answers you seek could only be a simple question away.
8. Set frequent goals
Setting frequent goals for your employees is a refreshing way to create new drive and motivation within a business. It’s very common to have annual and even quarterly goals – but try adding more frequent weekly goals into the mix as well. I guarantee you that every single week will have meaning and your employees will work harder each day to meet that goal.
In sports winning can be contagious and it can also spread confidence through the team members. Checking off these goals each week will be a victory to your employees.
9. Have teams
There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. It allows for individuals to bring out the best in one other while they try to be the best. The good news is everyone is competing for you, and this type of competition will only make the company stronger. Teams are also a great way to create positive work relationships through bonding and shared work experiences.
If you battle through a tough situation with some of your coworkers, you feel like you can count on them in the future – and you also learn each others strengths and weaknesses. Just be aware that you should switch up your teams once in a while to avoid the negativity from cliques.
10. Stress communication
No surprise here – the final way you can manage your employees better revolves around better communication. Don’t just direct employees because you outrank them, but really make an effort to understand them on an individual level.
When your workplace is lacking in communication people tend to keep minor problems to themselves, because they are afraid of speaking up. Then one day that little problem becomes a major issue. It’s too common in business to see things spiral out of control – so stress the importance of spreading open and frequent communication with your employees. And practice what you preach.
What are you waiting for?
Next time you find yourself reflecting on your management role, consider these 10 ways for improvement. It’s easy to play the blame game when you have so many individuals working under you – however, that can only damage your reputation and company morale in the long run. It’s up to you as a manager to lead in the most efficient way possible. Your employees are counting on you to lead them.