Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

5 key areas where the best managers consistently excel

managerThe ultimate goal for most managers is to lead a workforce that’s engaged, highly motivated and contributes positively to the organization’s bottom line. This can be difficult, though. It doesn’t take much for employees to become disillusioned and cease to be as productive as they once were.

Often, the problem is the relationship between employees and their direct managers. Whenever a worker doesn’t get along with their boss for any reason, that’s a surefire recipe for declining engagement and productivity.

And here’s the sad truth – in many cases, the man or woman in the boss’ chair is someone that’s not up to the job. The statistics are pretty alarming, according to HR Morning. The news source recently reported on the results of Gallup’s “State of the American Manager” report, which found that 82 percent of managers do not have the high level of talent their positions demand of them.

Gallup’s Jim Harter told the news source that talent is defined as “the natural capacity for excellence in a given endeavor,” and it’s absolutely vital that bosses have it in order to manage their employees effectively.

“Managers with high talent lead teams that achieve higher employee engagement, higher productivity and higher employee retention rates and have more engaged customers and 48 percent higher profitability,” Harter explained. “They are also more likely to be brand ambassadors for their organization than those with lesser management talent.”

Sadly, though, the talent just isn’t there most of the time. This is partially because of the fast-paced nature of today’s workplace, with people switching jobs and being promoted so quickly that the workforce can’t produce leaders quickly enough to keep pace.

Fortunately, managers can sharpen their skills by improving in five key areas.

Motivating employees
It’s not always easy to keep staff members motivated to continue working hard, day in and day out. The best managers are able to push their employees to succeed without being too overbearing, which is a difficult balance.

Asserting authority
At times, managing requires being a little bit heavy-handed and reminding the staff that you’re in charge. The best bosses are able to assert authority selectively, using their power to advance the good of the team.

Holding people accountable
Managers need to hold people accountable for their responsibilities. When things go right, employees should be praised for their successes, but when trouble arises, the boss needs to identify issues and help employees learn from their mistakes.

Building relationships
People will be more motivated to work hard for bosses that they know and like. Therefore, building strong relationships should be one aspect of the manager’s job. Regular communication and a friendly, approachable attitude can go a long way for a boss.

Making smart decisions
Finally, being a good manager comes down to making good decisions around the office. If you have a clear vision for your staff and you make choices that benefit the team and the organization, people will respect the merits of your work. An engaged workforce should follow from there.

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