Best Practices for a Effective Manager

We all know that being good at your job doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to be a good manager. Different management styles will suit different contexts depending on the company culture, the size of the team or organisation, the nature of the work or industry and the particular personalities involved. There are some universals, however.

Effective management is an art – but luckily, it is one that can be learned if you follow some basic principles. Here are some tips on becoming a better manager

Delegate wisely

The key to leadership success is to learn to effectively delegate both the responsibility for completing assignments and the authority required to get things done. Many bosses feel that they need to control every little thing that their employees do. This is a recipe for disaster. When you delegate work to employees, you multiply the amount of work you can accomplish while you develop your employees’ confidence, leadership and work skills.

It’s important to let your staff take ownership of their work and find their own ways of doing things. Articulate the outcome you would like to see – and then leave them to their devices, checking in every once in a while to see if they need your support.

Select the right people

It all starts with getting the best possible team in place – together, the whole can become greater than the sum of its parts. You need to select the right people for the right jobs, build a complementary team, and align your people with your organisational goals and culture.

Knowing how various roles will help to achieve your organisation’s goals can help define the requirements against which you will interview and assess candidate.

Lead by example

It’s also important to practice what you preach. You can’t expect your staff to work harder than you’re willing to. Once in a while, roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Respect doesn’t come from your position – you have to earn it.

Be positive and constructive

Providing timely and meaningful feedback to your staff is crucial, as is determining how best to give them this feedback.

Tailoring your approach to each individual, with some people requiring regular assurance and support, and others preferring more autonomy. Lee adds that it’s important to let your staff know what they’re doing right as well as what areas they need to work on.

It’s better to tell people what you want them to do rather than telling them what you don’t want them to do

Show empathy

Empathy is the ability to listen to people, relate to their emotional experience and let them know that you are doing so. Managers with high emotional intelligence can build rapport with and between people, leading to greater trust and transparency in the team.

As a manager, openness and empathy should be a key part of your personal brand. It is the most important core competency for managers and leaders.

Developing the ability to understand people and connect with them in a genuine, meaningful way is a key determining factor in how effective you can be at influencing them, setting them objectives that motivate them, and rewarding them in a way they each actually find motivating.

Set goals

Every employee needs goals to strive for. Not only do goals give employees direction and purpose, but they ensure that your employees are working towards the overall organizational goals. Set specific and measurable goals with your employees, and then regularly monitor their progress toward achieving them.


Far too many bosses communicate far too little. It’s often difficult for busy business owners and executives to keep their employees up-to-date on the latest organizational news. Regardless, you must make every effort to get employees the information they need to do their jobs quickly and efficiently.

Non-verbal behaviour is just as important as what people say, so effective managers need to be keen observers to gauge how people are responding to a work situation at an emotional level. Lee says that managers need to be intuitive, since staff members may not always tell you when they’re struggling.

Communication needs to flow in all directions, from managers to their staff, from staff to managers, and between team members. An effective leader is a good listener and fosters an environment where people can get to know each other and understand each others’ strengths, weaknesses and communication styles. Good managers are open to input from their staff, and learn from their feedback.

Make time for employees

Above all, leadership is a people job. When an employee needs to talk with you–whatever the reason–make sure that you set aside the time to do so. Put your work aside for a moment, put down your smartphone, and focus on the person standing in front of you.

Recognize Achievements

Every employee wants to do a good job. And when they do a good job, employees want recognition from their bosses. Unfortunately, few bosses do much in the way of recognizing and rewarding employees for a job well done. The good news is that there are many things bosses can do to recognize employees that cost little or no money, are easy to implement, and that take only a few minutes to accomplish.

Think about lasting solutions

No matter how difficult the problem, there is always a quick solution, and leaders are happiest when they are devising solutions to problems. The trouble is that, in our zeal to fix things quickly and move on to the next fire, we often overlook the lasting solution that may take longer to develop. Although it’s more fun to be a firefighter, the next time you have a problem to solve in your organization, deal with the cause of the problem instead of simply treating the symptoms.

Don’t take it all too seriously

Without a doubt, running a company is serious business. Products and services must be sold and delivered, and money must be made. Despite the gravity of these responsibilities, successful leaders make their organizations fun places to work. Instead of having employees who look for every possible reason to call in sick or to arrive to work late or go home early, organizations work hard and play hard end up with a more loyal, energized workforce.

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