The classic trope that "people leave managers, not companies" has been backed up time and time again. DDI research reports that as many as 57% of people have quit their job because of their boss. A study by Gallup also revealed that employee workplace burnout has much more to do with bad management than long working hours.
Unfortunately, some managers will prioritize their client engagement rate or customer satisfaction over the long-term well-being of their employees. This is despite the fact that managerial effectiveness significantly impacts employee productivity, motivation, and happiness. Employees under effective management positively thrive, which is great for the profitability of a business.
So, how do you avoid falling into the undesirable category of a terrible manager? And how do you improve your managerial effectiveness to unlock your employee's maximum potential?
Effective communication skills are the trademark of all successful leaders. Delegation, organization, conflict resolution, different time management techniques, and the selective conveying of information to employees are all tasks that adept leaders must consistently work on throughout their careers.
That said, effective communication is just as much about listening as it is about speaking. Improving your managerial effectiveness can be achieved by simply honing in on your emotional intelligence skills and learning to become a better active listener. By giving your employees a platform to communicate openly and respond to their opinions with sincerity, you demonstrate honest communication as a workplace value and cultivate a trusting, respectful environment.
Regardless of the industry, employees need to feel as though the work that they're doing has purpose. If an employee doesn't see how their work aligns with the company's purpose and larger goals, it can lead them to feel directionless and disengaged. Similarly, a manager who doesn't establish and emphasize mutual team goals runs the risk of disorganized, unproductive chaos.
This is sometimes where issues with micromanagement arise. If team members are unsure of their responsibilities or goals, it can disrupt the whole team's workflow and prompt the manager to feel as though they need to over-assist.
Your managerial effectiveness can be improved by implementing goal-setting strategies. This is reasonably straightforward for industries that work towards completing specific projects. However, for those that don't [such as retail or warehouse industries], there are still goals that you can set to increase purpose.
Whether you aim to improve AHT in your call center or increase the customer service rating of your store, help employees connect with their jobs by establishing a mutual end-goal and aligning the importance of their individual roles with the broader context of the company.
A motivated team is more diligent, profitable, and productive. They are more likely to assist colleagues with their work, offer positive suggestions, and find more efficient ways to complete tasks. Fundamentally, consistent engagement is one of the foundations for creating a harmonious, supportive, and stress-free team - and as a manager, you play a central role in its delivery.
Strive to maintain a positive team culture and learn the tips and tricks of motivating teams in stressful situations. Keeping your team motivated might not always be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.
Empower your team to work autonomously by providing them with the tools, resources, and software they need to complete their job as efficiently and independently as possible. This promotes managerial effectiveness by reducing micromanagement and equipping employees with new skills.
The resources you provide will depend on your industry. For software developers, essential tools often consist of communication software and cloud computing service, such as a FaaS [Function as a Service] system.
Fostering a positive, toxic-free work environment is almost impossible if you lack the trust of your colleagues. They are much less likely to come to you with problems, give you their unfiltered opinions, or even respect your managerial decisions. Therefore, you must lay a foundation of trust from the get-go.
Take gradual steps to build trust within your team. Demonstrate competency in your skills to reassure your team that they are in capable hands. Establish a deeper connection with them individually by asking about their life outside work. And never engage in workplace drama or gossip, but lead by example and demonstrate compassion and transparency.
A "thank you" or "good job" heard from a manager is always welcomed by employees. It's a simple way to put a smile on a colleague's face. However, if the peak of managerial gratitude employees receives is a "thank you" at the end of the day, it can start to come across as a touch ingenuine.
Employees are much more receptive to balanced, corrective feedback that both praises their individual strengths and addresses areas for improvement. It instills a sense of value, appreciation, and motivation for personal development. Holding regular, one-on-one meetings with your employees to discuss feedback demonstrates your commitment to their growth.
Improving managerial effectiveness often means putting aside pride and traditional processes to embrace new ways of doing things. Everything from the optimization of workflows to the frequency of team meetings can benefit from employee input and feedback. By making these decisions inclusive, you actively demonstrate the positive values of your company.
While seeking and implementing feedback is essential to your growth as a manager, actually obtaining this feedback isn't always simple. Employees can fear the repercussions of sharing critical or constructive opinions, especially if you haven't yet secured their trust.
Offering the option to provide feedback anonymously is usually enough to encourage the unfiltered opinions that will most benefit your managerial effectiveness.
Ultimately, improving managerial effectiveness is much easier to theorize than implement. The modern workplace is constantly evolving and throwing curveballs our way, which is why improvement is often such a fluid and gradual process.
While change might not happen immediately, with the right mindset, senior support, and hands-on experience, you can gradually adapt your management style to cultivate a consistently positive working environment for your team.