Your manager can make or break your workplace experience. In fact, according to Gallup, managers account for 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement, yet only 18 percent of current managers have the talent required for the role.
This isn’t to say that managers are bad at their jobs. Quite the opposite actually. Your manager may be the best salesperson or a top engineer at the company, so they were quickly promoted up the ladder. But these skills and talents are very different from what’s required of a good manager.
Whether you were recently promoted to be a manager, or have been managing people for years, here are five characteristics to focus on developing in order to be a manager that people want to work for.
Great managers know how to motivate all of their employees to take action. By connecting their direct reports’ roles and responsibilities directly to the mission and vision of the organization, great managers are able to show the impact that each employee is having to move the company forward. This sense of ownership is what drives employees to give their all to their job and makes them happier!
Being a manager is hard work. You need to establish a certain level of respect and establish a personal connection with your employees, but you can’t just be a friend. If your direct report makes a mistake, isn’t working at their full potential, or is facing other adversity, you need to be assertive and honest about the issues at hand and find a way to work together to resolve them.
Managers need to be assertive when issues come up, but great managers do not spend their time investigating why mistakes were made or who made them. Instead, that information comes directly to them. Great managers are able to establish corporate cultures and teams that have accountability at their core, so that everyone feels empowered to offer a solution or ask for help when things go wrong.
Having high levels of accountability requires a considerable amount of trust on both ends. Managers need to trust that if something goes wrong, their direct reports are able to find a solution for the problem. On the other hand, employees need to trust that their managers will work with them to help resolve issues that arise, not just scold or humiliate them.
Managers need to make a lot of decisions – some of which can have a huge impact on an organization. Despite the relationship and personal connections that they form, business decisions still need to be made on metrics like productivity, skill sets, and experience – not politics.
Despite the fact that very few people receive the necessary training to be an effective manager, everyone can develop the required skillset. To learn more about how managers can effectively motivate employees, download our white paper, What’s in a Thank You, and learn about the impact that rewards and recognition can have.