Whether you’ve just been promoted to manager or you’ve been one for a while, you need to know what it takes to be a great leader for your staff.
Gone are the days when you had to basically salute your boss as he struts his almightiness around the office. (Or so they should be!)
Managers not only need to lead their team, but should be a part of that team also. It’s a delicate balance of managing staff while also being a team player. You need to be their work colleague and manager at the same time, but you also need to know when your leadership should be enforced and when you need to play the friend.
If you can achieve this, you’ll have a team who respect and admire you while watching productivity go through the roof!
Be a team player
There’s nothing worse than having a manager who won’t acknowledge you with a friendly nod in the corridor as you walk past or a boss who can’t talk to you about your weekend at the coffee station. Not only is it awkward, but can make your staff feel like they are below you. Friendly banter is a must have between managers and staff, so chit-chat away. Small talk is your friend.
When work issues arise, discuss them with your staff. Obviously, some topics are confidential, but don’t hold back information just because you’re power tripping. If there are work related problems that need to be solved, let your team join in to help resolve them together. This will show your staff that you value their ideas.
Micromanaging your staff is not only wasting their time, it’s also wasting yours. You’re the boss now, so delegate, delegate, delegate and leave your staff be! (To a certain extent)
You need to learn to watch your staff from afar and trust that they know what they’re doing and that they’ll tell you if they don’t.
There is nothing more tedious than a manger that has to know about every tiny detail of what’s happening in the office. You don’t need to know about the stapler that went missing or that blue pens were ordered instead of black. You should have a staff member for these jobs and unless you don’t, stay out of it.
The weak leader
A weak manager is not a manager at all. You are the boss, so act like it. If your staff come to you with problems, you need to act on them, and quickly, or beware the frustrated whispers and death stares.
Whether it’s an idea on how to improve the workplace or a staff bullying issue, every question or problem needs to be answered or resolved. You’ve been made manager for a reason, so step up to the plate.
It doesn’t mean you need to be rude or unkind when addressing a staff members concerns, (telling them their idea sucks it not a good look) but it does mean you have the power to introduce change, so do this with humility and fairness.
Avoid doing nothing at all or saying that you have to check with your boss first. Your staff will soon be questioning who their leader truly is and they could be tempted to go over your head which won’t look good for you.
The Approachable Manger
No one will come to you, even if the office on fire, if you are one of those managers who yell and scream or roll your eyes when a staff member approaches you about anything.
Being easy to talk to about work related or personal issues is key to being a great manager. You want your staff to be able to tell you if they’ve made a mistake that you can help fix, especially if it’s a huge contract you’re about to lose or they’re being bullied in the work place.
Not all issues will be major, but when they are, you’ll appreciate your staff for being able to tell you. So be friendly, warm and welcoming next time a staff member steps into your office for a chat and don’t blow a fuse if someone makes a mistake. We’re not robots!