In a previous post, I talked about the importance of structured management development programmes when it comes to equipping individuals who may be promoted into management roles to really deliver results. For me, such programmes are vital when it comes to ensuring managers are truly effective within their roles and are delivering value against the business objectives.
What happens, though, if you don’t have access to formal management training? Perhaps you’re brand new to management, and are yet to have an opportunity to get through the training. Perhaps your organisation doesn’t yet offer a structured management development programme. Regardless, I believe there are a number of small yet critical things which every single one of us can do as a line manager, which will transform the experience of the employees we have responsibility for.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you do nothing else as a line manager, then do this. Talk to your team members. Share information with them – relevant information that will help them to carry out their roles. Make the business objectives clear to them, and show them how these translate to the actions they personally need to take within their roles in order to achieve them. Find out from them what information they are missing, and go out and source it directly for them. By communicating effectively, you are directly enabling them to carry out their roles to the best of their abilities.
Listening is a vital part of effective communication. Make time, regularly, to sit down with the people who work for you and listen to what they have to say. Listen to their feedback. Ensure that it’s passed back to any relevant stakeholders and that action is taken accordingly. Make your employees know that they have a voice, and let them realise that you care enough to take the time to share with them the information which will make their lives easier as a result. Often, it will be their insight which allows you to identify problems early on and put in place remedial actions to ensure targets and goals are reached. Fail to listen to your employees at your peril. If they don’t get the air time they need from you, they will be voicing their grievances and concerns elsewhere… which will hugely impact on both your management relationship and also your organisational culture.
If you commit to doing something, you need to ensure you absolutely follow through on your commitment. Few things will more quickly damage the respect your team has for you than your failure to deliver the results you have promised. Not only that, but a lack of delivery breeds a lack of delivery. If delivering results isn’t important to you, why should it matter to your team?
Directly linked to ‘Deliver’, you must ensure as a manager that your focus is heavily on removing any barriers that are preventing your teams from achieving. From a more strategic vantage point, you should be able to facilitate the delivery of goals by remaining one step ahead in the process and taking the lead in removing obstacles from the path. Be the reason that your team achieves, as opposed to the reason that they fail.
Great managers effortlessly empower their people to achieve. They are able to provide a supportive, nurturing framework within which individuals are equipped and unafraid to deliver something truly amazing. Great management is not about micromanaging your teams to deliver… it is about creating an environment where people cannot fail to thrive.