How To Be a Good Manager in the Workplace

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 25 November 2022 | Published 22 July 2021

Updated 25 November 2022

Published 22 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Management is in charge of ensuring the success of a group, project or process. While there are several ways to be a great manager, there are a few important qualities and abilities that you can cultivate to help you manage your team or department well. Acquiring leadership abilities and becoming a great manager is undoubtedly a long and continuous process, but you can start setting shorter-term goals and actively realising them now. In this article, we define successful management, list skills to develop in order to succeed as a manager, and describe how to be a good manager.

Related: 3 Manager Types (Plus Required Skills, Roles and Key Duties)

What defines a good manager?

Managers can have the power to make or break the firms they work in. Excellent managers inspire their team members to realise their full potential while helping their companies achieve and exceed their objectives. Excellent managers can lead their team members, motivate them to grow, and retain control over their company and its success all at the same time.

These are the people who can continually adjust to new conditions and bring out the best in others so they can produce their finest work. They make their subordinates feel appreciated and supported. Typically, they only consider themselves successful when the people they supervise are successful. To be a good manager, you typically possess and demonstrate these qualities, which can be categorised as soft or hard skills:

  • Technical skills: Knowledge, proficiency, and expertise in activities involving technical methods, processes, and procedures.

  • Conceptual and organisational skills: The ability to coordinate, integrate, and manage all interests and activities of the company simultaneously.

  • Communication skills: The ability to convey and exchange ideas and information in a clear, concise, and effective manner, both verbally and non-verbally.

  • Decision-making skills: The ability to make rational and logical decisions that can lead the company to achieve its vision, mission, and goals.

  • Analytical skills: The ability to come up with and visualise the best response to a situation quickly and accurately.

Related: Types of Managers (With Skills of a Successful Manager)

How to be a good manager

To be a good manager, you can cultivate your skills and experience over time. Here are a few steps you can follow to improve your management skills:

1. Build and encourage communication skills

As a manager, communication skills are perhaps one of the most crucial competencies to utilise and develop. Establishing and keeping open channels of communication with your team can help you understand their needs, collaborate with them on task completion, reduce misunderstanding, and exchange expectations of each other.

Here are a few examples of questions to explore if you are looking to enhance your communication skills:

  • Do you encourage staff to voice their thoughts and opinions during meetings?

  • Is it acceptable for employees to express their concerns?

  • Do you solicit positive or critical feedback?

  • Do you recognise every employee's contribution to the job?

  • Do you come across as approachable and easy to work with?

While it's essential for a manager to display strong communication skills, you can also assist your team in developing these abilities.

Related: The 3 Management Levels: Definition and Importance

2. Support collaboration

Collaboration entails working effectively with others towards a common objective. Managers prioritise encouraging a collaborative team and workplace since it creates a better, more pleasant environment to work in. The more individuals enjoy working together, the more effective and high-quality their output can be.

Creating a collaborative atmosphere begins with communicating individual expectations and team objectives. It starts with each team member comprehending their responsibilities, who they can collaborate with, and the organisational outcome they're aiming for.

3. Ensure processes are clear

Managers can be explicit and transparent about what they expect from everyone on the team. To achieve a successful team performance, a manager needs to either develop new procedures or constantly simplify and organise current processes to enhance workflow. An organisational chart clearly defines the department's objectives and identifies a work assignment for an individual or team.

One item on an efficient manager's agenda involves allocating work to team members and then overseeing, rather than micromanaging. The manager establishes a clear chain of command, which involves appointing "a point of contact," who may be regarded as a team leader since they work closely with the group and keep the management team informed. The assigned point of contact can gather information and provide a concise summary of updates to the manager.

4. Offer and receive consistent feedback

To understand your managerial strengths and potential room for growth, request frequent feedback from your team. Likewise, you can also offer feedback to your team when it occurs to allow them to acknowledge what their strengths are and what they can improve on to reach their objectives. You can consider arranging regular meetings to provide and receive formal feedback.

Managers can receive feedback through several platforms, including one-on-one discussions, team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and surveys. Each option enables you to establish the tone for a team-oriented workplace that encourages employees to engage and speak without fear of consequences. Managers can aim to make employees feel that they're a part of the team with a vested stake in the company's success.

5. Practise active listening

When a manager actively listens and responds to their team members, it promotes an honest and open workplace. To practise this, you can schedule weekly or monthly team meetings or even a brief meeting each morning, to address any questions, concerns or unfinished business. You may listen, take notes, raise direct questions, promote participation, and end each meeting on a good note to let employees know you've heard them. Be mindful of people's schedules and adapt meetings as needed to ensure they are effective and add value to the team.

6. Acknowledge others

As a manager, you can recognise each of your team member's functions, the talents they possess, and how effectively they execute their tasks. You can consider curating recommendations and resources to help your staff feel supported in reaching their objectives. Likewise, you can assist them in their personal and professional growth by identifying and suggesting their areas for improvement.

A knowledgeable manager also appreciates employees who exceed corporate standards and personally thanks them for their efforts. Employees who feel encouraged, acknowledged, and valued by their managers are more likely to continue growing with the company for extended lengths of time. This can reduce employee turnover and enhance retention, minimising the company's overall costs.

7. Set a positive example

As a manager, it's critical that you set an example of the behaviours you expect your team to embrace. This requires you to communicate, cooperate, offer feedback, demonstrate a good work ethic, express gratitude for a job well done, encourage other team members, and be prepared to step in and help when required. Take note of how you portray yourself and communicate with your team. Good managers are usually approachable, helpful, and sympathetic about their teams' issues. At the same time, such positive behaviours can encourage employees to treat one another in a similar manner.

8. Establish achievable goals

A manager can establish specific and attainable goals that are consistent with the wider corporate goals, mission, and vision. You can follow the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) framework to identify and measure tangible goals. Establish precise metrics and benchmarks for success to allow your team to understand what they can aim for. Maintain an open channel of communication regarding how your team is progressing toward its goals.

9. Improve your leadership skills

You can strive to improve your leadership skills and generally concentrate on essential soft skills that can assist you in becoming a good leader. By setting an example as a good leader, you can further motivate your team. Listed below is a list of key leadership skills that may be useful to anyone seeking a new job or a career advancement:

  • Ability to teach and mentor

  • Decisiveness

  • Dependability

  • Integrity

  • Problem-solving

  • Team building

  • Understanding of your role

  • Planning and organisation

  • Staff management

  • Time management

To be a good manager, you can first comprehend your position and how it fits into the wider picture of the company. Whether you're new or have been in the business for quite some time, you can still continuously assess your strengths and identify room for improvement. Learning and honing your skills is an ongoing process throughout your career. Managers may also have supervisors. After you learn about the nature of your position and how to grow within it, you can always ask your mentors or supervisors for support and direction.

Related: 10 Types of Leadership Styles

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