It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, there will always be some type of hierarchy within the workplace. Ideally, each department is able to work cohesively towards a common end goal. Managing all the departments is a whole other ball game though. A lot of new business owners have never managed before, and even if you have, there is always room for improvement on your management style. You need to effectively manage multiple different types of people, departments, and needs. So, what does it take to be a good manager? The definition of a good manager is not black and white, and it really depends on the environment and perspective.
Key Traits to Have as a Manager
Trustworthiness and dependability
- Make sure your employees know that they can trust you, and that you have their back and best interest in mind.
- Step in to help if you see your team struggling.
- Make sure your staff knows the best method to contact you and what times you are available.
Treat all employees fairly and with respect
- Just don’t be a dick
- Acknowledge they have a life outside of work
- Do not pick favorites
Be a good communicator and listener
- Know how to set clear instructions, goals, and expectations.
- Know what is a reasonable amount of work
- Offer one-on-one meetings for anyone with questions or concerns
- Encourage employees to provide feedback and actually listen when they do!
Lead confidently through change
- Ensure everyone has what they need to succeed
- Keep team morale high
- Be self aware and accepting of any criticism.
Looking at Your Management Skills
Being a good manager isn’t just personality traits, but also skills. Do you manage in a way that works for you as an employee? How are you balancing your managerial duties with the rest of your work duties? Do you know how to prioritize and keep the team on track? Are you well spoken and clear in your instructions or guidance? Do you create a space for professional development learning? Do you genuinely want to help people grow within the company and within their own personal journey?
The role of a manager doesn’t mean you have to know how to do everyone else’s job. That would be ludacris, and also where effective communication enters the chat. Be clear in how to set goals and measure metrics to track progress and meet the company’s objectives. Do you know if your employees are doing their job efficiently with the proper resources? If they are client facing, do you know how they interact with clients? Can you provide them with development skills if they need help in that area?
Before taking a management position, ask yourself if you actually want to manage people, or are you feeling obligated to since it’s your business? If the latter, what can you delegate out to others to help you succeed in this role? If you’re new to managing and are currently on the fence about whether it’s for you or not, go talk to your boss. Being clear on what you like and don’t like will help you frame your managerial style more effectively.