6 Steps To Improving Your Management Skills

In a management role, assembling an effective team is critical not only to the company’s success, but to your own personal success as a manager.  Because your team depends on your leadership, your management style must support and inspire your team while pushing business forward.

However, successfully doing this requires a variety of skills, many of which take time and experience to build.  As a result, it’s also important to focus on your own professional development as a manager.  To help you get started, here are 6 steps to building a more motivated and effective team through your management style:

Get organized

Always remember that your employees’ actions are a reflection of your own.  When you’re consistently disorganized, dressed unprofessionally, or late for work, your team will mirror that behavior.  Whether you need to wake up earlier in the morning or start using a calendar to stay organized, these simple productivity habits will trickle down to the rest of your team as well.  Additionally, utilizing task management and communications solutions like Asana and Slack can get your whole team organized and improve workflow and collaboration processes.

Broadcast your goals

As a manager, you know that it is important to set attainable goals for yourself and your team.  However, it is equally important that you reinforce these goals with every employee.  This not only includes informing each team member on their role, but also telling them more about the team’s overarching goal and how each employee fits into the puzzle.  When they understand how their work affects the team as a whole, they will be more motivated to achieve a positive result.  Additionally, let them know how you’re prioritizing the goals that you’ve set.  This way, your team will be more sensitive to deadlines and more patient with low-priority projects.

Provide the tools

“If you give people the tools, and they use their natural abilities and their curiosity, they will develop things in ways that will surprise you very much beyond what you might have expected.” –Bill Gates

A crucial element of an effective manager is that they understand how to provide employees with the tools they need, and trust that they will get the job done from there.  Without any handholding or micromanaging, a good employee simply needs the starting tools, and they will often surprise you with a positive result beyond your imagination.  Whether this means giving comprehensive instructions or purchasing software that improves their workflow, sometimes that’s all it takes to give your employee the boost they need in order to climb a mountain.

Focus on transparency

While improving your communication skills as a whole is important to your success as a leader, transparency is a key element in increasing motivation and trust in your staff.  As a result, try to not only give clear direction for each employee and the team’s goals as a whole, but also explain why you’ve made such a decision.  When you give a clear reasoning behind your decisions, your employees are more likely to understand the decision and why it must be done a certain way.  Furthermore, when employees understand the impact of their actions on the team, on you, and on the organization, they’re more motivated to give a good performance.

Additionally, an increase in transparency also includes giving and receiving feedback.  Not only should you consistently provide feedback on your employees’ performances, but you should also keep your door open and listen to their feedback regarding how the team operates.  When employees feel as though they have a voice within the team, they’re more likely to feel like they have an impact at work.

Read a book or take a class

If you feel at a loss for inspiration to improve your management style, reading a new book or taking a leadership course can help spark a new idea for you and your team.  In addition to reading books on leadership and management, reading any book of your choosing can boost your critical thinking and open your mind to new ideas.  Plus, there are always seminars, networking events, and courses you can take to help you in any areas you feel you need to work on.  Whether that’s signing up for a webinar online, or attending an event in-person, you can gain a lot on insight to help you improve your own practices.

Practice gratitude

While you may have heard that millennials in particular need praise and participation trophies, this is more of a half-truth.  While offering frequent rewards or incentives for your employees might be overdoing it, it is important to be sure that your team knows that you appreciate their efforts.  Rather than offering rewards or trophies, most employees are more interested in courtesy and transparency.  As a result, simply communicating your gratitude for your team with a “Nice job!” or “Thank you!” can let team members know that they are producing quality work, and that you appreciate their efforts.