Anyone who has ever been in a management position, understands the challenges that come with managing employees.
Managers have the responsibility of helping employees develop job skills and holding employees accountable for completing job responsibilities.
Being in a management position requires an aptitude for dealing with the many diverse aspects of interacting with employees and a great manager cares about the employee on a personal level as well as the employee’s ability to accomplish key responsibilities.
8 Traits of a Good Manager
1. Excellent Communicator
Good communication is the secret to success for any organization. Managers should make communicating with employees a priority and be constantly asking themselves, “what is it that I know that my employees may need to know”? Then tell them!
Employees have a vested interest in the organization and have a desire to know what’s new, what’s changing and what news will impact their job. Talk to them and they will appreciate it!
2. Good Team Builder
Building strong teams is what makes for a productive work environment. Team leader skills is a fundamental competency that all managers should acquire.
A good manager will be able to take a random group of people and transform them into a collective unit that collaborates, works toward a shared goal and enjoys the process.
3. Great Leader
Effective leaders inspire and influence the behaviors of others. Managers should demonstrate strong leadership skills and competencies to gain employee respect and confidence.
Managers need to be consistent with what they say and what they do to engage employees and gain their trust. Employees want to work for a manager with good moral character that is demonstrated by personal ethical behavior.
4. Influential Mentor/Coach
Every employee is on a developmental journey and managers have the responsibility of mentoring and coaching them. This is done by taking the time to find those teachable moments and helping the employee think through appropriate response to the work environment.
For example, my daughter is a young professional who works for a large fortune 500 company. She had a coworker who was constantly criticizing her publicly and embarrassing her in front of her peers. She chose not to do anything about it because she doesn’t like conflict.
Her manager witnessed a few of these situations and called my daughter in her office and instructed her to confront the employee privately and gave her some tips for how to do it and what to say. My daughter was terrified but followed through as instructed and the situation was resolved.
These seemingly insignificant scenarios, if not addressed, can have a great impact on the work environment, but more importantly on the employee’s professional development.
These teachable moments should be captured as an opportunity for managers to mentor and coach employees. I raise my hat to her manager because she recognized the importance of encouraging her to stretch personally, which not only resolved the issue, but helped my daughter grow professionally!
5. Effective Time Management
There are never enough hours in the day and there are always unpredictable curve balls that derail the best of time managers. A key management competency is one that finds efficiency in work time and helps employees with time management skills. Chit chatting in the hallway for 15 minutes here and there is a time thief that most organizations don’t have the luxury for.
6. Sets Measurable Goals
Goals are how objectives are met and a mission is accomplished. Managers need to be able to write church goals that support the strategy and mission of the organization – and help employees do the same.
7. Provides Feedback
Employees need constant feedback to achieve objectives. They need to hear when they are doing things well and they also need to be made away of those times when they are not meeting objectives.
All too often, managers get frustrated with employees for not performing up to their expectations, when the reality is, they failed to communicate what it was that they expected.
Managers have the responsibility of providing consistent feedback, which is what a well designed performance management system is built on.
8. Fair and Unbiased
We all come to the workplace from different backgrounds and with unconscious biases due to our individual experiences. An effective manager is able to identify those personal biases and not allow them to influence how employees are managed. Being objective when dealing with employees is imperative to fair management practices.
Managing employees can be one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have, and there is nothing more fulfilling than watching an employee develop in their professional acumen. Some managers try to manage the time that employees are at work but effective managers are skilled at managing the people – which ultimately develops the person and produces results.
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Article originally posted October, 2012, updated 2014.