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Six Ways to Be a Better Manager in 2016

The New Year is not only time for personal resolutions, but as a manager, it is also a great opportunity to look at how to better yourself professionally. While it’s easy to get stuck in a routine, it’s important to re-evaluate your management style and how it affects your peers, direct reports, and company.

Everyone’s managerial styles are different, but here are 6 ways to be a better manager for your employees.

1. Care and Show It

From the smaller life details to actual work related issues, great managers will show their concern, and actually mean it. They remember birthdays and ask, “How was your weekend?” The important key here is to not only ask but to actually listen. While you don’t have to be close friends with your employees, it’s important to show respect, kindness, and empathy.

2. Recognize Accomplishments

Great managers are comfortable in their roles and want to showcase their team’s best work. Don’t try to take credit for employee achievements or brush them off. Instead, realize that their successes reflect well upon you also, and recognize them for it. Simply saying “Thanks, you did a great job on this,” can brighten someone’s day and motivate them to keep working hard. Better still, make sure others are aware of the recognition and can comment on it to amplify its effect.

3. Communicate Openly

Whether they are delivering good or bad news, great managers are effective communicators. They make clear exactly what is expected, and provide frequent feedback as to whether those goals are being met instead of waiting for annual reviews. They realize that constructive feedback is just as essential to an employee’s development as praise.

4. Work Hard and Set an Example

Practice what you preach. Great managers never leave employees feeling abandoned or that they have do all the work for half the pay. Being a manager does not give you license to do whatever you like; on the contrary you’re now the one to set the example. That doesn’t mean that you should roll your sleeves up and revert to your individual contributor role, but you should be available for coaching and support as your employees need it. If your team is staying late to complete a project, let them know you’re just an email away if they have a question.

5. Protect and Advocate

We’ve all been there before, where something at work spirals terribly out of control. Sometimes it’s the result of an honest mistake or even circumstances totally out of your control. A great manager will step in front of the firing squad for his or her employees, knowing he or she will take a lot less heat.

6. Want The Best – Even If It Means Moving On

Yes, every manager dreads that day when a valued employee says they’re leaving for a better opportunity. But if you truly care (see number 1), you will be happy to see your employees grow and develop in their careers. As a savvy businessperson, realize that your paths may cross in the future—perhaps as a prospective client or referrer for new talent.

There’s no such thing as a perfect manager, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of your weak points and work on them. With the new year just around the corner, there’s no better time to resolve to become the best you can be for your employees.

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