As a manager, you have many tasks and an important role in keeping your company running smoothly and efficiently. Yet perhaps sometimes you wonder if you're doing a good enough job. There is always room for improvement in the managerial field, so read on for a few ways to boost your management skills.
Start With Yourself
If you want to be a better manager at work, then start with yourself. If you aren't managing your own life very well, then your frustrations might carry over to your work environment. So make a strong effort to improve your organization and efficiency at home. This might include decluttering your home, keeping better track of your appointments and obligations and inspecting your finances. The last of these is especially important since you probably have financial responsibilities in your management role. Work to set up a solid budget for yourself and also to pay off debts like student loans. If you can get your personal life in better order, you'll be more confident as a company manager.
To improve your management skills, you must always keep learning. This might involve taking classes occasionally, accessing online resources or networking with other managers. You might even decide to return to school for an advanced degree. Just be sure you choose a program that fits your needs. Learning about high cardinality, for instance, might serve you well if your job involves technology, but it might be overkill otherwise. Consider an online program for greater flexibility as long as it is accredited and offers reasonable tuition.
A major part of your manager job is communication, so you must learn how to communicate well. Half of this is actually listening to employees. It's easy to get caught up in your own ideas and plans and turn off other people's suggestions, but this is frustrating for employees, who might, in turn, stop cooperating. Let people know that you value their feedback, and then actually listen to what they have to say. Respond respectfully, and encourage good ideas. You must also develop the habit of communicating clearly, especially when you must give instructions and assign tasks. Make sure that you express yourself well and that others understand you, and invite questions and concerns. Always be willing to dialogue, at least to a point.
As you work on your communication skills, you'll probably notice that you're developing closer relationships with your coworkers. This is another important aspect of becoming a better manager. There should be a strong trust between you and the people you manage. They should be willing to talk to you, approach you with difficulties and even laugh with you over mishaps. Be a “real person” to employees so that they can relate to you better.
Motivate and Delegate
Finally, if you want to improve your management skills, then focus on motivating employees and delegating tasks. These are actually closely related. Many employees thrive on having responsibility and at least some level of decision-making power. Motivate them to reach for the next level in their own careers by extending these. You might select a likely employee or team for a special project and tell them how pleased you've been with their work. You could also set up some kind of reward system for employees to keep them working hard. Since you're own to-do list is likely packed and overflowing, delegating some tasks to others can both increase their motivation and take some pressure off of you. Just be sure to always express your appreciation.
Becoming a better manager will take time and effort, but you can do it by following some of these steps and making a commitment to continually improve your management skills.
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