As a business owner, you undoubtedly have a lot on your plate. You likely underwent some training, but may still have questions regarding leadership and management. Perhaps you received no training at all. Regardless, it is always a good idea to review your management style and incorporate new ideas for the future. There are a number of ways to grow and develop as a manager and become a better human being in the process. Here are four ways to step up your management game.
Take An Interest In Your Employees
The best managers are those who take an interest in their employees and offer them the support and resources they need to succeed. Take the time to learn some things about your employees, including what they enjoy, how they like to work and who’s important to them. By making an effort to understand and get to know your employees, you are working to earn their trust as a manager; they will be much more likely to be honest with you when you need them to be.
Encourage your employees to be honest with you if they have an issue. To do this, you need to have a real open-door policy and have a reputation for neutrality or fairness. Getting to know your employees better will make conversations regarding your own managerial style easier and more constructive. While you’re still their manager, you can improve your relationship with your employees by being a respected colleague. If you are not actively involved in your business, your COO or General Manager must provide this encouragement and exhibit this neutrality. Your company’s management style begins at the top and gets mirrored by your middle managers and supervisors.
Be Open To New Approaches
Being convinced that you are right and everyone else is wrong is a terrible trait in a manager. The fact of the matter is there is more than one solution to every problem and more than one approach to handling an issue. Sometimes it’s difficult for us to see things from a different angle, especially if we let our egos get in the way or we have a narcissistic streak. But to be a good manager, you have to be able to put yourself in the shoes of others, including your employees and your clients. Perhaps you might even discover a new way of looking at things that makes a lot more sense and works better for you.
Don’t Stay Stuck In The Past
Many old and outdated practices still exist in the business world, and many of them are unnecessary and counterproductive. For example, formal performance reviews can take up a lot of your team’s time and be difficult to manage for numerous employees. Instead, be innovative and use performance management software to change the tired processes that you see around your office. Implement more frequent, and more personal, reviews to improve performance management. Address both issues and successes as they arise. Don’t stay shackled to old ideas just because they’ve been around forever.
Don’t Stop Learning
There are a number of resources, formal and informal, that you can use to help you or your management team become better managers. A time-honored and helpful way to improve is to get a mentor. You can mentor one or more employees. However, if you think it will look you are playing favorites, you may opt not to. Your executive management team can mentor your middle management team members. However, a mentor doesn’t have to be within your own company – he or she can be anyone who has more experience than you or your management team and is willing to listen and advise on how to be a better manager. Continuing education in business and leadership subjects can also provide new skills and ideas to use as a manager. There are also countless books published each year on how to be a better manager; others are perennial favorites.
If you and your executive management team take advantage of a number of sources to learn how to manage better, if you try new things and if you continually encourage and support openness and honesty, your management game will see serious improvement. By continually working on your management strategies, your employees will become more productive and your and your managers will have a better relationship with your employees. This relationship can do wonders to improve morale.
About the Author
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2