Management has always required a unique skillset and this isespecially relevant in 2018, with workplace dynamics as varied as they haveever been. Remote working, mental health days, flexible arrangements andwellness have all become increasingly common, and a new generation of employeeshave different expectations to their predecessors. Here are four tips to helpyour management skills flourish:
Sharpen your skills
Just because you’re in charge, it doesn’t mean you can’tcontinue to upskill. Performing to your full potential is crucial as it sets apositive example and allows you to be confident and cope with the challenges ofyour role. This involves learning about areas that are relevant to yoursubordinates, as there’s no point managing a team of five if they all performfunctions you don’t understand because you haven’t the right skillset. Ifprofessional development isn’t prioritised by your company, there are plenty ofextra-curricular ways to increase your skills. Online course providers, such asUdemy, offer a structured approach to learning a broad range of skills, whileYouTube is another source of countless video lessons on almost everything.
Manage time efficiently
Wasting time is a huge killer of productivity in theworkplace, and if you’re doing it, odds are it’s going to have a flow-on effectto your team. As manager, it is your responsibility to ensure projects arecoordinated between the members of your team, with each person understandingtheir role and when they are expected to complete tasks. Organisation and timemanagement are vital skills at any level, so take the time to prepare anefficient way of tracking the elements of projects, who is working on it andwhen it is due. This could be by using spreadsheets, project managementsoftware such as Asana or Trello, or your own combination of methods.
Keeping your staff motivated is one of the most obviousfunctions of a manager but also one of the most difficult. All people are uniqueand may need to be treated differently – some prefer direct, matter-of-factfeedback, while others rather a softer approach. Learning about your team’spersonalities and what is important to them is important to be able to motivatethem. Some managers prefer a hard-line approach, but for long-term happiness,lower staff turnover and higher productivity, carrot-heavy motivational techniquesare more effective. Try teambuilding activities, such as lunches or activitieslike bowling, that take your team out of the workplace context and you maylearn new things about their personalities and what drives them.
Set tangible goals
Having clear-cut goals for you and the rest of your team iscritical to monitoring progress. It allows you to map out what your futureobjectives are and the best way to achieve them, and it also creates transparency,so employees know what is expected of them and when. It is also important totake the time to recognise when goals are reached. Marking milestones andcelebrating achievement is also a powerful way to engage employees and motivatethem, showing how valued their contribution is and where they fit into the teamand the organisation.