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Top 12 Manager Best Practices
Being a great manager is about much more than simply keeping a group of employees engaged. A great leader is someone who knows how to motivate their team, and who can follow the business management best practices in the right way, driving their organization towards success.
Business management can be described as the process by which an organization gets its employees to produce the greatest results while leveraging those skills and talents made available to them. While every corporate culture is based upon a different philosophy and driven by a unique set of goals, beliefs, and core values, there are some universal truths about effective management that any manager can employ into their practices to obtain that ideal optimized workforce. By following the 12 manager best practices listed below, any business leader can transform even the most struggling organization into a streamlined system, in which employees are inspired to produce their best work, and processes work in such a way that ensure long-term, sustainable success.
1. Engage Workers
An alienated or bored worker will not care about performing their job at all, let alone performing it to their highest ability. The very first step to becoming a great leader is identifying how to engage employees in the company’s vision. Engaged workers are not only more enthusiastic about their efforts and productive in their work, but they also become less passive in how they perform their job. They take more responsibility and accountability for their performance and can also help attract fresh talent to the organization.
2. Reward Effort
Recognition of an employee’s effort, and rewards for achievements, makes workers feel much more valued in the organization. While it may seem like an obvious practice to instill into your managerial plan, many business management training programs overlook the positive impact that appreciation can have on a company. Some managers may even feel that being too close and friendly with employees undermines their authority. However, recognition and reward for great work motivates people to work harder and achieve more themselves and helps to build company loyalty.
A good practice for rewarding effort is to give credit and acknowledgement publicly. If recognition is due for outstanding work, everyone should be made aware that their contributions to the organization will be acknowledged if they show the same level of work ethic.
3. Be Vulnerable
When the leader is open and honest about their sentiments regarding business efforts, employees will also feel comfortable speaking openly and sharing their ideas. Transparency affords increased levels of trust and even respect between a leader and their team members.
4. Stay Committed
Distrust within a team drains valuable resources and time, with team members focusing more on avoiding conflict rather than airing their real opinions and working to find a common ground. When distrust is prevalent, it transforms the workplace into a state of permanent ambiguity, meaning clear goals and strategies rarely emerge from group discussions. By staying committed to the organization’s initiative, a manager can foster a work atmosphere where conflict is welcomed, not feared, since differing perspectives can help to shape a clear and robust goal.
5. Practice Consistency
Perhaps one of the most important manager best practices, remaining consistent in how you treat employees is critical for maintaining a productive working environment. Effective management relies on having leaders in place who treat all team members with a fair, consistent and equitable approach where zero favouritism applies.
6. Seek Clarity
An issue many organizations face is a lack of alignment among managers. Aiming for alignment in managerial practices is critical and can only be achieved when clarity is at the forefront. Aim to ask, and answer, the following six questions to clearly outline the company’s vision:
- Why do we exist?
- How do we behave?
- What do we do?
- How will we succeed?
- What is most important?
- Who must do what?
When leaders can develop and share a clear sense of the organization’s vision, values, strategic goals, and delegation of responsibilities, the company can obtain the clear sense of purpose and direction it needs to succeed.
7. Create Cultural Cohesiveness
Company culture is one of the biggest driving forces in how well a company operates, and how well-equipped it is for the future of business. It encompasses the shared values of an organization that, with the right level of engagement, can lead to the development of productive and efficient outcomes. A strong manager best practice is to ensure that all new hires are in alignment with those core values and visions, since workers with shared values are much more likely to work well together. Diversity in race, gender, socioeconomic status, and more, is beneficial to an organization, since it increases collective insight. But diversity in company values should be avoided.
8. Encourage Teamwork
Cultivating team spirit is extremely beneficial to any organization, and one of the best ways to do so is to introduce frequent opportunities for projects that move away from a department-centered focus. Employees are much more likely to learn and appreciate the importance of collaboration when they are regularly given a the line of sight between the value-add work they perform to that of driving the organization forward.
9. Focus Team Effort
Many managers believe that their efforts to focus teams starts and ends with the introductory period, hosting retreats to boost solidarity, and being attentive to new ideas when they first come out. However, it is critical for managers to keep an eye on ongoing team dynamics, ensuring team members don’t get distracted down the line by individual activities that will lead them off track. In order to achieve the best result for the company, there needs to be consistent reassessment and realignment of team goals. Conducting a teamwork fitness survey is a great way to gauge and monitor key elements of team success such as change compatibility, cohesiveness or team meeting skills.
10. Hold Regular Meetings
Meetings are one of the most critical components to an organization’s success. It could even be argued that no other action, activity or process is more integral to the creation of a healthy organization than meetings. In order to be fully successful in how you plan and run your meetings, and in order to leverage them in the best way to achieve success, aim to do the following:
- Hold separate meetings for tactical and strategic business planning.
- Assess tactical agendas only after teams have reviewed their progress against their goals.
- Ensure sufficient time is allocated for clarification, debate, and resolution of major issues.
- Meet occasionally outside the office to review industry changes, as well as anything else significant happening within the company and the team.
By providing teams with a regular forum to discuss core values, and measure their progress against their goals, members can realign their principles and gain perspective on the best business practices for the future of the company.
11. Lead by Example
A manager’s behaviour should always be reflecting how they expect their team to behave. A core manager best practice, but one of the most important, is demonstrating and role modelling the values and expectations you are expecting of your people. If you are on time, your employees will be on time too. If you are consistent, they will be consistent too. As a manager, it is critical to model the ideal behaviour, so your employees will have something to follow and emulate themselves.
12. Practice Transparency
The importance of transparency in business goes beyond its legal implications. A transparent business leader is one who inspires trust and respect among team members on the day-to-day, and not just on bigger picture issues. Team members will be much less willing to follow a leader who has lied or kept important information from them, so remaining transparent and honest is critical. Of course, the essentials of good judgement apply as some information can be sensitive in its nature.
In order to succeed in the field of business management, you first need to ensure your own core values align with your organization’s goals. If you are not true to yourself, you cannot expect to have a meaningful impact on the organization you are representing. While there are several manager best practices you should always be incorporating into your leadership efforts, the best and most significant ones are those that focus on fostering authentic connections between yourself, your employees, and the organization.
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