Are you a good manager?
Finding a management method as a newly promoted team leader is something that can take time, and there is no on way to approach this new responsibility. It is necessary to strike the right balance of friendliness and seniority along with delegation, praise and discipline… this isn’t something that most people can pick up overnight and therefore it does take a lot of practise to find your own management style.
There are a few quick tips on things to be aware of and avoid, if you want to be a supportive and positive manager:
- Hypocrisy – make sure that you lead by example as opposed to relying on constant delegation. Teams like to see a manager ‘practise what they preach’ as this is much more motivating than a dictatorship, and can help to set the bar high and give something to aim for.
- Comparisons – be careful not to make examples out of people who are doing really well, as it can feel patronising and belittling to those who are not. To feel like you are never going to be as good as your manager wants can be an incredibly demotivating feeling which no manager wants to create.
- Favouritism – this may not be a conscious decision, or something that you are necessarily aware of immediately, but if you find yourself defaulting to the same person for assistance (when there is a team of similar people) it is highly probable that other people have noticed and see this as favouritism. Every member of the team will require a different level of management, but all should be made to feel as valued as another.
- Insufficient Feedback – there is a fine balance to strike between micro-managing and leaving people to their own devices. The important thing is to ensure that enough feedback is provided, or constructive criticism as required, to leave the employee feeling confident about their position and knowing whether they are performing or not.
- Over Friendliness – a manager should always be able to present as a figure of authority should the need arise. Being too much ‘one of the guys’ can make it difficult for some staff members to feel comfortable raising issues with a manager, therefore a balance must be struck between being friendly and being ‘too’ friendly.
- Dictatorship – continuing from the point above, a manager must always be aware not to fall into the trap of being too stern or unapproachable. They are still a part of the team, and some aspect of friendship is important to help the people gel and connect.
- Lack of Communication – a manager should always know what is going on within their team, and the best way of doing this is to ensure that all employees feel comfortable talking to them and also trust that their manager would be there for them if needed. Frequent feedback sessions can also help a manager keep on top of any brewing issues of negativity, and address the issue before it can develop too far.
- Target / KPI inflexibility – we all know that targets and KPIs are important, but these need to be individual to the person in question and should be tailored with a good manager to complement the style of the employee in question. If these are too rigid, it will negatively affect both motivation and success which in turn could lead to higher staff turnover.
Your management style is something that you should always self-evaluate, check that your habits are still working and right for the situation, as failure to nurture your team can result in a less motivated workforce and therefore dips in performance, low morale and a higher employee turnover. These are all costly to the business and therefore to be avoided any way you can, so keep an eye out for these warning behaviours and work to modify your approach as soon as any of these red flags are raised.