There isn’t a leader on the planet who is perfect at their job. In fact, being a good manager is a skill that takes decades to get to where both your subordinates and higher-ups regard you as a great leader. If you’ve recently decided you want to be a better manager, give yourself a pat on the back.
Just because you own a company or have been promoted to a management position recently doesn’t mean you’ve checked all the boxes to be a good leader. The needs of your company, customers, and employees are constantly changing. If you don’t strive to improve constantly, you run the risk of higher turnover rates and potentially losing your job.
Here are ways to become a better manager instantly:
1. Stop talking, start listening.
If you’re a persistent yackity-yak, don’t sweat it. You’ve probably been taught to lead without any regard for what your staff actually think.
This is the corporate management mentality that existed in days of old. It doesn’t fly with the current generation of millennials and gen Z whose attention span is dictated by how engaged they are in communication with others.
Listening is the cornerstone of engagement, and thus effective leadership.
“If we were meant to talk more than we listen, we’d have two tongues and one ear.”
2. Get rid of people who aren’t invested in the company.
A good leader cultivates a team that strives to climb the ladder of their company by constantly adding more and more value.
People who aren’t invested in the company’s vision aren’t good for business. They’ll only do the minimum required to get a paycheck, and will create all sorts of drama when they don’t get their way.
Meet with employees regularly. Ask them about their goals in the company. Come up with an action plan for them to achieve those goals.
People who aren’t pursuing their set goals and those of the company need to go.
Employees who’re invested will do everything they can to raise you and your brand up. If you let them, they’ll make you a better leader with constructive feedback and suggestions.
“Man is only great when he acts from passion.”
3. Become a better manager by learning your employee’s “must dos”.
Obviously, a great leader will know what their employees are supposed to be getting done while on the job.
Well duh, right?
I’m actually talking about learning the things they need to do outside of work in order to be fulfilled and happy.
If they need to go to their son’s baseball games every Tuesday night at 5:00, make that thing they need to do YOUR priority too, by making sure they’re allowed to do it. Don’t be a selfish slave driver.
This might seem impossible to implement company-wide. However, it’s important. Fulfilled employees who have a great work/life balance will be more productive and appreciative of their employer.
“You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do.”
4. Maintain a 1:1 praise to criticism ratio.
You even need to do this with your poorest performers. In fact, bad employees may be doing a bad job because you’re not being supportive enough.
Praise encourages more than criticism ever will, even though constructive criticism is necessary in the day-to-day of every manager out there.
Follow criticism with something positive, and your employees will respect you more. Happy employees will repeat good behaviours and strive to curb negative ones when you show them more respect, more often.
“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”
5. Treat everyone the same.
No matter how hard it might be, a manager has to remain neutral in how they treat subordinates.
You’ve all heard about middle child syndrome where the eldest and youngest children in a family get more attention and affection than the middle child. Middle children often grow up with problems, are less motivated, and often resentful.
Don’t let any of your employees feel resentment toward you because you gravitate toward “favorites” in the company, giving more attention and preferences toward their coworkers.
Give an employee a reason to feel vengeful toward you and they’ll get back at you in one way or another. If disregard this advice, it’s your fault, not theirs.
“The person you took for granted today, may turn out to be the person you need tomorrow. Be careful how you treat people.”
The only way to become a better manager is to keep putting in the work.
Working to better your relationships with employees is your job and yours alone.
Follow these 5 tips and you’ll instantly become better at your job and enjoy more respect from all who work under you.