What Makes a Good Manager?

Posted November 12, 2021

Any thriving business depends on the function and strength of their managers. Management includes any person that is involved with directing the company and it’s workers in order to meet team goals and further the growth of the company. The duties of managers may differ depending on which industry you work in, but in general the manager fulfills any of five basic management operations within the workplace. Below, we will discuss why functional management is important and define the operations of management along with how to become a well respected manager.

What Makes a Good Manager

What is management?

Management is the coordination of administration tasks to achieve a common goal within a company. Activities such as coordinating the efforts of the staff, setting the strategy to accomplish certain goals, and ensuring the team has all the necessary resources to accomplish their objectives are included in management  and administration. 

Management can also be defined as the structure of hierarchy within a staff or organization. When some one refers to management as an entity they mean their higher ups that sit in roles of leadership whom they would go to for answers to their questions about the job at hand. 

If you want to become an effective and well respected manager it is important to develop the necessary skills such as planning, communication, organization and leadership. It’s also inherent that managers have clear and extensive knowledge of the goals of the company and the forethinking needed to direct employees, drive sales, and complete all necessary operations to make the team run smoothly. 

Five basic operations of a manager

In general, there are five basic functions of a manager:

  1. Set objectives
  2. Organize roles and responsibilities
  3. Motivate the team
  4. Create systems of measurement
  5. Develop people in their careers

1. Set objectives

In order to maintain success, a manager must set and achieve goals with their team of employees. Being able to identify the objectives and convey them to the team in a compelling way is necessary as a manager. For example, a restaurant manager could motivate to their team to improve service times and remind them that faster service increases revenue and tips.

2. Organize roles and responsibilities

A manager’s job is to evaluate the work to be done, divide it into tasks, and delegate or allow the staff to self-assign tasks with deadlines. In order to do this effectively, management must know the types of roles that their staff possesses and know how much responsibility certain levels of workers can handle. Once the manager is clear on how much and what type of work each employee can manage on their own they might choose to organize them into teams to work together, allowing skills to play off one another in an effective manner. 

 A good manager builds interpersonal relationships among their team and can find solutions through rearranging the organization of the team in order to over come challenges that come along the way. By organizing the company strategically a business can thrive and outperform its competitors in both quality work and speed to the market. 

3. Motivate the team

A manager might use several different tactics to motivate their team until they land on one that sticks. Handling different types of personalities and understanding the differences in their employees’ lifestyles can make it difficult for a manager to lead the team with just one motivator. 

To be an effective manager it’s important to keep trying new forms of motivation when spirits are low in the office, while still maintaining professionalism. When a team is galvanized around a singular cause it can stir excitement and make it very clear what the goal is for every project.

4. Create systems of measurement

There is no proof of success unless you have a way to measure it. Managers are responsible for describing targets for the team with key indicators to aim for. Because success and progress can be measured in many different ways, management must be creative and select relevant measures for each project's goals.

It can be challenging to come up with measurable indicators of performance, so managers must be both creative and thoughtful when creating systems of measurement. Team morale, business growth and adaptation all rely heavily on measurement of performance and therefore they also rely on the competency of their management.

5. Develop people in their careers

Great managers not only have an eye on where the business is headed but they also invest attention in the development of their employees. A manager should check in with staff members on a routine basis to get insight on the goals of each individual in both the short and long term. Managers might encourage individuals with the right soft skills to strive for a certain role while they might direct those with great technical skills in a different direction. Either way, the manager is not only looking to improve each individual but also strategically improve the company structure by promoting, incentivizing, and taking the time to listen to the needs of their employees. 

Managers need leadership skills in order to manage these five operations successfully. They must encourage their team members to recognize any strengths and weaknesses in themselves and the team so that they can help one another succeed. Managers handle their jobs differently across industries, and may even have different styles of leadership within an industry based on their personality and skills.  In any case, it’s not a bad idea to improve leadership skills in general if you are or strive to become a manager at your company.

Concepts of Management

There are a few simple concepts that help managers perform the five basic operations. These concepts help to ensure that the team can come together to meet broader business goals in a timely manner:

  • Leadership: Employees do not want to show up to work without a clear understanding of the goals they are aiming for and how they will be measured, that is why they need a good leader to head the project that they will be working on.  Each employee should have a clear role that determines the level of responsibility they possess at any given time.

The manager must then use their leadership to guide members tasks, determine how and when they measure their progress, and exemplify who answers to who within the hierarchy of the business. Control over these factors through strong leadership can result in a manager's ultimate success.

  • Planning: Before implementing any strategy a good manager first comes up with a sufficient plan. Planning is an ongoing activity that occurs on a predetermined schedule and changes based on the market and the type of employees that are on each project. 

For example, a team of highly skilled veteran employees at a tech company that have been in the business for over ten years are likely to be a part of the planning session each month in order to give feedback and estimates. While the new workers at a coffee shop might not need to be at the planning meeting for improvement of roles and customer flow. At a planning meeting a manager must be prepared to answer who, what, when and where a team is working to achieve the company’s goals for the specific time block.

  • Staffing: Staffing is the placement of employees and new hires in specific roles to meet the needs of the job. Managers must make sure they have the right people for the job in the best combination of effective teams. Paying attention to workplace organization including the way personalities mesh and how varying levels of experience might be paired are part of a manager’s responsibilities. 

In order to retain the employees with the type of experience the company needs, it is important to offer incentives, benefits, and promotions throughout the length of an individual’s career. Managers must look at the bigger picture when moving employees internally and ensure the company has the budget long term when offering monetary incentives.

Tips for becoming a good manager

There are many ways to improve your management skills, including:

  • Communication. The first key to becoming a good manager is talking and listening to the team. It is important to communicate clearly so you can understand the needs and concerns of the team, evaluate their progress, and help everyone achieve their goals.
  • Stay positive. As a manager you should set the mood for the team, keeping a positive attitude even during high times of stress. The entire team may not feel the same way but succumbing to negativity can bring productivity and morale down, so staying positive is important for every manager.
  • Provide training opportunities. Take a look at the skills of your team members and when necessary offer opportunities ot improve skills through training. This might be by training with a mentor within the company, a third party training certification, or a workshop to train on certain group functions.
  • Collaborate. A good manager should feel comfortable delegating tasks, but also be able to work with a team to accomplish common objectives. Collaborating will allow you to get a sense of the challenges the team faces as well as improve future planning sessions by seeing the challenges before they are met.
  • Practice. The best way to gain new skills as a leader is to practice them in a real-life work setting. Gaining experience on-the-job in leading a small team, coaching a new hire, and communicating well with each team member can help you with the skills needed to climb the promotional ladder.

Good managers are servant leaders, they must serve the group by finding ways to improve operational functions that benefit the team. By treating each individual fairly a manager will be respected because the individuals feel respected. Managers are necessary for teams to be functional and efficient. Management is a great way to move up in your career while also getting to steer the direction of your team the way you envision it should be led.

The Careerbliss Team

Your career happiness is our #1 priority here at CareerBliss. To help you succeed in your career, we offer a wide variety of tools and resources to help you out along the way. Check out company reviewssalary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

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