Learning how to be a good manager takes time and practice, as managers face many challenges within an organization and across their teams. Managers are responsible for meeting business goals and objectives, but also for the personal and professional development of the people they manage. It’s a juggling act, but one that can be very rewarding. At StatusPath, we are privileged to help managers across all industries become good, successful managers who manage people effectively. This article presents some of the key steps we preach and see put into practice by the managers across our customer pool. With this guide, you will be able to tackle your management responsibilities with confidence.
Get there together: Key steps for how to be a good managerSet Clear and Visible Goals
As a manager, you are responsible for your team’s success, which will be defined by their ability to collectively achieve your business goals. Learning how to set business goals is an important part of becoming a successful manager. Even if you’re not responsible for setting the goals, you will certainly be required to communicate the goals to your team in a way that encourages success. Things to keep in mind:
Be highly transparent with your business goals. In StatusPath, we place team and business goals right next to each employee’s objectives. This type of transparency increases employee engagement and reminds the employee why their particular objectives and efforts are necessary.
Make sure the goals provide appropriate frameworks for each employee’s measurable efforts. Don’t have goals that are not supported by the team, as they discourage teamwork and offer very little return.
Map Employee Objectives to Your Goals
Your employee needs to see the direct connection between their efforts and the desired outcome of the organization. Your employee also needs objectives that are measurable, time-based, and specific in nature. There are plenty of objective setting methodologies you can subscribe to – across our customer base we see Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), MBO’s, SMART objectives, and a handful of others. While all of these approaches offer sound objective frameworks, here are some key items to consider:
Don’t be afraid to “stretch” the objectives – meaning it’s OK to have objectives that are hard to achieve. If you set stretch objectives, just communicate to your employee that you’re both shooting for the stars.
Be very clear on timing expectations – employees deserve to have a clear picture of the start and due dates for each objective.
Don’t Micro Manage – Avoid the Task Trap
Learning how to be a good manager means letting go of the small stuff. Good managers are busy people, and they don’t have the time to understand every task that goes into the successful completion of an objective. You need to communicate and focus on the high-level efforts of your employees – the concise roll-up of the most important activities. One of the most liberating and powerful features of StatusPath is how we elevate manager/employee communications to the objective level, promoting a culture of independence, trust, and interaction on only what matters most to your team.
Being a manager means keeping your finger on the pulse of the health and condition of each employee’s efforts. You do that by communicating regularly. Taking a couple minutes each week to thoughtfully connect with your employees will allow you to:
Provide constant, real-time feedback. There is no need for endless meetings if your team has a communication structure in place that’s timely, social, and on point.
Offer guidance and follow up activity as your employee needs it.
Stay close to what matters most: your employee’s accomplishments, plans, and needed areas of help. That’s what makes a great manager – joining the journey at all levels, but only injecting influence and guidance where necessary.
Listen Closely and Encourage Idea Sharing
It’s no surprise some of the most successful companies in the world request ideas and feedback from employees on key business challenges, product ideas, and strategy. You are managing a smart collection of people, and you need to offer them a means by which they can share their ideas. One great example we’ve seen on StatusPath is that managers in our system will ask their team to share the most important thing they have learned over the past week by leveraging our hashtag feature (#learnings). Others ask employees status questions such as, “What could we be doing better as a company?” This is the type of engagement that makes your employees feel like a meaningful part of the team.
Reward Desired Behavior
When your employee succeeds, make sure to go out of your way to acknowledge the success. We strongly promote recognition as a way to encourage desired outcomes as employees will work hard if they know there is a reward. It’s incredibly motivating for an employee to be acknowledged for the success of their efforts, and without the recognition, you lose an opportunity to enjoy the best part of being a good manager: celebrating wins!
StatusPath is passionate about helping you succeed as a manager. We offer a modernized business goal, objective, and status report system that delivers value across your team and entire company. You can start achieving more with your team in just minutes.
Trust you employees – they will work hard and deliver if you establish expectations and communicate.
Put your employee’s tasks out of site. You need to focus on the big picture.
Think more about quarterly and annual goals as a manager. Shorter time frames typically mean you’re micro managing.
Learning how to manage people effectively takes time – you will get there!