What the Best Managers Do
The best managers harness the talent, enthusiasm and commitment of their teams. They know how to keep all indicators pointing up and in the right direction.
Your Goal as a New Manager
For you to succeed as a new manager, the goal is simple…you need to motivate your team and keep them engaged and productive.
Your First Big Mindset Shift as a New Manager
You need to be prepared to shift from taking responsibility for your own performance as an individual contributor to taking responsibility for the performance of your team. Hopefully, somewhere along the line, you have had a really good manager…one that you can try to emulate as you move into management.
A Checklist of the Most Appreciated Management Traits
With our twenty-plus years working with both new and experienced managers and their teams, we have compiled an ongoing checklist of what the best managers do that are most appreciated by their teams.
1. Show You Genuinely Care About Your Team
Isn’t it human nature to work harder for someone you know has your best interests at heart than for someone who cares little about you? Good managers take the time and make the effort to get to know their employees as individuals because they care about them both personally and professionally.
2. Play to Their Strengths and Special Interests
Find out what gets your employees really excited about their work. Where do they excel? What kinds of projects do they tackle with real enthusiasm? When you can assign tasks that allow them to pursue their passions and engage their creativity and talent, you give them a chance to really shine.
3. Help Them Grow
Give your employees a chance to develop new skills and areas of expertise. Show your faith in their intellectual abilities by providing development opportunities and setting new challenges. They may falter and make mistakes but a good manager can guide them toward the valuable learning that occurs when you reflect upon what went wrong and plan to do better next time.
4. Respect Their Personal Lives
The best managers understand that everyone has a life outside of the workplace. Family, friends and community are important to maintain a positive work-life balance and for the overall well-being of your employees. Certainly you should expect extra work now and then when deadlines loom or when critical projects are on the line but don’t make a habit of requiring overtime and weekend duty.
5. Recognize Their Contributions
Never take your employees for granted. Good managers notice when an extraordinary effort has been made and acknowledge it. Be thankful, individually and publicly, for exceptional work. Reward and recognize results and behaviors that matter most.
6. Maintain High Cultural and Performance Standards
Your expectations of performance and how your team goes about their work should be clear from the “get-go.” There is nothing more demotivating for a high performer than to watch a low performer stay on the team without making a sincere effort to improve. Retain your “A” players by hiring and promoting the best and letting go of those who don’t make or care about the grade.
7. Honor Your Commitments
This is simply a matter of doing what you say you are going to do. There is no faster way to lose the trust of your team than to promise something and then not deliver.
The Bottom Line
Someone in your company believed that you could be a great new manager. Now it is up to you to prove them right by doing what the best managers do.
If you want to learn more about creating high performance managers, download The Six Management Best Practices that Make the Difference Between Effective and Extraordinary
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