If you manage a team, you’ll probably have moments when you doubt your leadership abilities. Being the manager of a team requires qualities and characteristics that not everyone can pull off, so it’s important to recognize first if you’re a natural-born leader or not.
Once you’ve established this, it’s time to learn more about your employees, and the right way to manage them. You might even be managing them remotely right now, which puts additional stress into the mix. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about being a good manager for your employees.
1. Keep Track of Their Productivity Without Micro-Managing
Pretty much anyone who has been managed or led by someone knows that being micro-managed isn’t fun. In fact, it’s downright stressful, and the majority of the time, it doesn’t help employees do their job any better.
However, whether you’re managing your team in the office or remotely right now, you’ll feel the pressure to keep track of how productive they are. Instead of checking in on them every hour or so, try an employee monitoring software such as Veriato. This is a great way to ensure that they’re on task without breathing down their neck.
2. Have Open Communication
Having good communication between your employees and between your employees and you is inherent to managing a team well. If your employees don’t feel like they can approach you with anything, then you haven’t got the level of communication that you need.
Try to maintain open communication with your team members so that they can talk to you about the big things and the little things as well. They need to feel like they can call on you for anything. This level of accountability will ensure a tight-knit team that works well together.
3. Be Realistic About Goals
While you might be a go-getter, you’ve got to learn where to set the bar for your employees. Of course, there’ll be certain goals and tasks that they are required to achieve based on their job, but beyond this, it’s important to know when to put the pressure on and when to take it off.
If you’re managing your team from home right now, they might still be getting used to working in a different environment. Take this into account when setting goals, and allow for a bit of leeway here and there, without giving in completely.
4. Know That Everyone is Different
While your employees might work together as a team on most of the tasks that you set them, it’s still important to remember that they’re individuals. This means that each employee brings a different and unique set of skills to the table.
It’s important that you learn to hone in on those skills and allow each employee to use them to their advantage. This will make your job easier, too, as you learn who to delegate specific tasks to.
5. Work on Yourself
When we manage other people, it can be easy to forget that we’re just as much of a work in progress as they are. We can get so focused on helping them improve their skill set that we let ours fall to the wayside.
If you want to be a good manager for your employees, it’s important that you remember to improve your own skill sets from time to time as well. Whether it’s enrolling yourself in leadership courses, or communicating with your employees and asking what they think you could work on, a good manager is always working on themselves and making sure they’re never satisfied.
6. Find the Balance Between Friend and Leader
It’s almost just as important to get along with your employees like you do your friends as it is to be their manager. However, make sure that you find the fine balance between the two. Your employees will benefit from having a close relationship with you, but remember to keep it professional and maintain your authority.
If you’re open and friendly with your employees, they will find it easier to come to you with issues, without fear of being reprimanded. Everyone will feel a lot more comfortable and confident about their job, as well as their work environment. Just get the balance right.
7. Show Your Human Side
Just because you’re managing a team of employees, doesn’t mean that you’re immune to making human errors. Similar to remembering to work on yourself, it’s important that you help your team realize that you’re human at the end of the day just like they are.
This means that you’re going to make mistakes and not know what to do at times. If you portray yourself as perfect, then your team members will be met with disappointment when you inevitably mess up. Make sure they understand this side of you as well.
8. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
The best kind of leaders and managers are able to put themselves in the shoes of their employees and have empathy and understanding for what they do. Not only will this help you relate to them a bit more, but it will also reveal how to be a better leader.
This is because it will force you to wonder what you would want out of a manager if you were an employee. This way, you can adapt your leadership style to suit something that benefits the group as a whole and the individual.
9. Figure out their Strengths
Are there a couple of employees that you’ve been having trouble with lately? This could be because they aren’t using their strengths, and they’re finding their job particularly difficult as a result.
Everyone has a different set of skills and strengths, so as a manager, it’s important to be able to figure out what these are and delegate tasks appropriately. Otherwise, your team might not be as cohesive you’d like. A well-oiled team of employees is a team that capitalizes on their individual strengths.
Being a good manager for your employees isn’t easy, but with the right skills and characteristics, it can become easier over time.