How To Be A Better Manager*

*This is a collaborative post*

Someone who surely knows how important it is to manage effectively is Vice President at the Metropolitan Management Group, Marty StalloneBy being pro-active and by putting best practice and policies into place, your company should run much more smoothly and hopefully you'll also have a happier workforce!
In one of his own articles, Marty Stallone refers to this simple proverb below and it suggests just how crucial forward thinking and planning is for any business.

'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.' 

Management is not the easiest job in the world no matter how it might look. In fact it's damned hard work and stress inducing. When you're not buried under piles of paperwork, policies, pressures and targets, you're trying to manage a team effectively and to the best of your ability. 

You're probably acutely aware that your employees want and need a leader, someone they can rely on and trust. Someone who is not only consistent but who also instills confidence, but sometimes it's hard to do the best by everyone. 

Have no fear! Here are some tips on how to be a better manager:

Lead by example. Like the expression says, treat others as you wish to be treated, show the kind of qualities that you'd like to see in your employees. Maintain a high standard of professionalism and confidentiality. 

Don't be afraid. This applies to many areas in the management role. Whether it be asking for help when you're floundering a little, getting stuck in with the team when you're short staffed, or even when you're trying to implement change. It can be difficult especially if you're new to a management role but stick with it and you'll soon get there.

Maintain healthy boundaries and a healthy work/life balance. It's crucial that both you and your employees understand these boundaries and that you all know your place so that no-one oversteps the mark. You might be the best of friends outside of the company, but the workplace demands a certain level of respect for the hierarchy and for good reason. This doesn't mean that you need to go all ogre or battle axe - no-one wants to work for a 'Devil Wears Prada Miranda!' Remember, it's not personal, it's business. So long as this is clear, there's no real reason why you can't maintain healthy relations both in and out of work. 

Have an open mind and an open door policy. Change can be a good thing and yet sometimes not. Keep an open mind to all possibilities to take both you, your employees and the company forwards. Don't be afraid to try new things and in the same breath, don't feel ashamed if they don't pan out how you wanted them to. That old 'plan, do and review' motto works well in almost every scenario. By having an open door policy your staff will know that you're approachable and will be more likely to come to you should there be any issues. 

Learn the art of delegation. How many of you maintain the mentality that if you want a job doing right, you'll do it yourself?? No, no and no. Take time to get to know your employees. Learn their strengths and their weaknesses. Delegate tasks to the most well suited candidates. To use my managers phrase 'having the right bums on the right seats will ensure the smooth running of the place and will take the company forwards.' It also means you'll have happier, more confident staff if they're in roles that best suit them. 
Each employee not only works differently but reacts differently to both situations and communication. Keep this in mind and tailor your approach so that you can get the best from every individual.

Communication is the fundamental key to a successful workplace, yet seems to be often forgotten about. Appraisals and one to ones are a fantastic way to sit down and thrash out any concerns. They are a time for you to actively listen to your staff as this will really help you to learn more about them.

Of course you'll need to nip any conflict, problems or tardiness in the bud, but on the other end of the spectrum, you should also give praise and reward hard work and achievement where and when it's due. An incentive scheme works wonders for staff morale and motivation

There is a world of information available at your fingertips. Perhaps you might even consider undertaking a management course to boost your skill set and confidence. There's various available online and through distance learning.

Above all remember that you're always learning, we all are. But with a little bit of patience, and practice, you'll soon be on your way to being the kind of leader that your staff aspire to be.

Thanks to my managers (old and new) who unwittingly helped with this post through the imparting of their knowledge over the years. 

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