A lot has been said about management, from bestsellers on delegation to articles about nightmare bosses. One thing all of these sources have in common? Everyone can agree that management is a tough job.
Working to supervise, develop, and train employees can be overwhelming for new and experienced managers alike—and because there’s no single “right way” to do the job, it can leave a lot of people floundering.
If you’re struggling to find ways to be a better manager, it may help to spend some time getting the basics down. Let’s take a look at the four things every manager should do to succeed.
1. Learn as Much as You Can
Whether you supervise a full team of employees or you’re responsible for overseeing specific processes as a project manager, make sure to learn everything you can. What makes your people tick, and what are their personal goals and skill levels? What are the technical details of the specific tasks and functions you oversee? If you want to succeed, the first step is always to make sure to understand the ins and outs of what you manage.
2. Get a Great Mentor
Whether you’re a brand new manager or a veteran supervisor, it’s hard to underestimate the value of a mentor. The right mentor can help you identify weak points and opportunities for growth fast, allowing you to improve by leaps and bounds instead of at the crawling pace you’d take if you had to muddle through on your own.
3. Empower Others
As a manager, your primary job is to lead, not to do—which can be a hard perspective to keep in mind if you’re used to tackling every task yourself. Both you and your team will be better served if you learn to delegate well, to help develop your team’s skills and capabilities, and to give them opportunities for personal and professional growth. Make sure your employees know that you care about their progress, and that you’re open to ideas on how to empower them to do more.
4. Check In and Offer Feedback
The worst managers are the ones who check in only when something is wrong. You should always set aside time to check in with your people on a regular basis, with weekly or biweekly one-on-ones as the standard. This helps you to track progress and hold your people accountable, and it also lets you provide ongoing feedback to help your employees reach their goals or understand what they should change. Otherwise, how can you expect them to grow and learn?
Anyone who’s ever spent time as a manager can agree that it’s not a simple job. The stakes are high, and every task is complicated. However, you’ll find over time that even small changes in your mindset and approach can lead to great results—which can make the job intensely rewarding. With the right approach to ongoing education, like insights from our blogs, you’ll find it easier to cultivate the mindset you need!