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If your goal is to become a better manager, the first thing you should focus on is polishing your people and management skills. It is imperative to recognize how your own strengths and weaknesses impact the behaviors of your employees. Take some time to analyze how you talk with and manage your employees and how you handle stressful situations. Be honest with yourself and assess yourself based on how you think each of your employees would assess you.
Employees need to know they can rely on you to be open to them. They seldom need to hear ‘yes’ to all their requests, but they do expect fairness. Being a better manager means reassuring your employees that they can access you to discuss issues, concerns or share ideas. If your employees cannot do this, you might miss critical insights that may develop into larger issues down the road. Being inaccessible makes it difficult for your employees to be productive if they cannot get the answers they need to move forward.
Being a better manager means striving to find ways to help your employees improve their performance by providing constructive criticism. Employees can only improve in their performance with the help of their managers. Constructive feedback tells employees how they are doing, what they need to work on, and how they are being measured in relation to department and business goals. Managers should offer up actionable tips for improvement that employees can use to demonstrate progress.
Trust is key to being a better manager. Employees may not always like the answers they get from you, but they are likely to appreciate transparency as it builds trust. It’s much easier to gain buy-in from employees on daily work and projects if there has been an established sense of transparency. Always remain consistent in your responses to employees and in your approach to dealing with different situations, this will demonstrate your transparency as well as fairness. Also ensure your verbal and written communications are consistent in their message and tone.
Helping your employees advance their careers through training and other mechanisms for growth will help demonstrate you have an interest in being a better manager. It tells your employees that you care about their future, and not just your own. By helping employees become their best, you are strengthening your entire team. Sit down with employees and discuss their desired career paths and available training to help get them there. Take the time to facilitate in-house training whenever available.
It’s important to understand that being a better manager is about supporting and helping your employees in their goals and career paths, remaining fair and keeping lines of communication open.