Employees often say the quality of their management staff makes all the difference. When they feel supported, respected and empowered, they report high levels of productivity and workplace satisfaction. When they feel their boss is unreasonable, unpredictable or unfair, they are more likely to quit. While top managers have different leadership styles and personality traits, executive coaching can help them put key skills regularly into practice.
1. They Don’t Control, They Manage
Effective managers lead with the desire to support their team, not just to make themselves look good. Sometimes that means providing inspiration and motivation. Other times that means directing the group and providing resources.
They invite team members to be a part of the goal setting process so each group member is invested in working toward a common goal. They establish relationships with employees so they can identify how each team member can best contribute.
2. They Communicate Clear Expectations
Employees can’t follow directions or reach goals if they don’t understand what you want. Before presenting a new project or introducing departmental change, take time to make sure you have a clear picture of how you would like your team to operate. How should they communicate with each other and with you? What is the time frame you’re working with and how will you measure progress? How can they show respect for individual strengths to leverage diversity?
3. They Provide and Solicit Regular Feedback
Strong managers don’t wait for yearly evaluations to deliver feedback – they make a habit of delivering it regularly. Instead of seeing feedback as a scoring system to evaluate raises, they view it as part of building relationships. Offer team members regular insight on the positive contributions they make and where you see potential for growth in the future. Provide them with suggestions for improvement that put them in touch with available tools, and make it clear you’re interested in their personal growth.
Good managers also ask for regular, honest feedback from their team and from administration. Ask team members how you can communicate with them more effectively, what their perspectives are on company policies, and how they think you could improve team functions. Show them you value their insight by implementing changes based on their suggestions.
4. They Share Information
During times of change, employees may feel unsettled and wonder how they might be affected. When it’s appropriate to share information, managers can help dispel their anxiety by being transparent. Be especially willing to share positive information, such as recognizing employees for awards and achievements.
Managers also can have access to resources and training other employees don’t. Be willing to share knowledge to add value to employees and encourage them in their own growth.
5. They Delegate
Just because you’re responsible for a project doesn’t mean you have to do the bulk of the work alone. Micro-managers create frustration in their teams, and wear themselves out. At the beginning of each task or project, break it into parts and delegate employee roles based on their talents and responsibilities.