Our organizational culture assessment data tells us that relationships between employees and their bosses are getting worse. While an initial uptick in employee/manager relationships occurred at the beginning of Covid as organizations focused on employee safety and wellbeing, managing virtual teams has created new stressors. How can everyone of your people leaders be a better manager?
It seems that too many people managers tend to ignore or micromanage remote team members. The cold hard truth is that effective people manager best practices are no different for onsite or remote teams. But remote teams amplify a lack of leadership when team goals and accountabilities, roles, success metrics, capabilities, processes, or team norms are not clear and agreed upon. When employees feel confused, mistrusted, isolated, and undervalued, they become disengaged.
It’s never too late to learn how to be a better manager. Now is the time to repair and strengthen those critical connections between leaders and employees so your teams can perform at their peak.
Three Tips to Be a Better Manager
Based upon people manager assessment data, here are three tips on how to be a better manager. They all have one thing in common: a question and a response – ideally occurring in consistently scheduled one-on-one employee engagement meetings. The general question from the manager to an individual employee asks how things are going. The general response of the manager is careful listening, empathy, and a commitment to provide the needed support.
- Start from the Employee’s Perspective
Being employee-centric is a big part of new manager training Do your managers know how your employees feel about their boss, the company, and their work? Even if you have employee engagement survey data, ask them. And then actively listen.
Assuming that you have created enough trust in leadership, your other-centered question should prompt an open discussion of what would bring more meaning to their job and how their job contributes to the company’s business strategy and success.
Find out what matters most to them personally and professionally. You cannot be a better manager until you know how your direct reports truly feel about their current situation.
- Lead Each Employee the Way They Need to Be Led
Our action learning leadership development programs consistently uncover significant gaps between what teams want and need from their leaders. Almost half the time, leaders are using the wrong leadership approaches to meet the needs of their people. This mismatch decreases employee performance, engagement, and retention.
You cannot be a better manager until you take a situational approach to management that matches your team’s capabilities and motivations to the task at hand.
- Consistently Coach for Higher Engagement and Performance
Employees who receive consistent and frequent coaching from their managers outperform those who do not. High performing managers ensure that every team member develops to their full potential by diagnosing performance gaps (behaviors and results) and ensure alignment to an individual development plan to close the gaps in a way that makes sense for the employee and the team as a whole.
You cannot be a better manager until you can tap into your team’s unique motivations, priorities, and talents.
The Bottom Line
Every strong, healthy relationship is based on trust and mutual respect. As a manager, you can help shape the connections you have with your employees by getting to know them as individuals, genuinely caring about their wellbeing, and doing all you can to support them and earn their trust.
To learn more about being a better manager, download 7 Immediate Management Actions to Create Alignment with Goals