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How To Be The Best Manager

Updated on December 10, 2013

You’ve been promoted to management and you want to do the best job. You want your employees to like you but still respect you. Here are a few tips to help you be a good manager.

Don’t micromanage

By micromanage, I mean standing over them, calling often to check up and see how they are progressing.

This is one of the hardest things for some managers. It’s not always easy to let your employee do the job they were hired to do when you see what appears to be a flaw in their work. Everyone works differently and just because they go about it in a way you think is inefficient doesn’t mean it won’t turn out in the end.

Some of us are very picky and want to “help” them do a better job.

Also, if your boss is on you about the project this may make you want to in turn micromanage those under you. These things tend to trickle down from above.

A good task manager will allow their people to do the job they are hired to do.

Give your employee or employees instructions and let them do the project. Not everyone works the same way but if you wait and let them take care of it eventually you will have the same end results, at least usually.

Be fair; don’t play favorites

It’s normal to get along better with some people than others, that’s human nature but when we are in a management role it’s not professional to be obvious about it.

Try to keep favors, training, conference trips and projects evenly distributed. Only send people who are qualified or need the information, not those who want an all expense paid trip.

I’ve seen a manager send a person on a training trip who didn’t even have that job description simply because he liked that person better than the man who was in that position. His pet wanted a trip to Las Vegas.

He basically wasted company money because the woman who went on the trip couldn’t use the information, wasn’t knowledgeable enough to understand it so she could transfer her training to the man who needed the class.

This is an example of bad management skills.

Don’t step on the little guy

Be careful how you treat those under you. You never know when someone will get a promotion, move to another department and eventually become your boss.

Don’t think it can’t happen; I’ve seen it many times. You never know when your company will change management.

Some take classes on their own time, get a degree or training above and beyond your education and before you know it they are your manager.

People have long memories when it comes to being treated unfairly.

Listen to your employees

Bad managers always want to be in charge, they want things only done their way and aren’t open to suggestions.

Even children sometimes come up with great methods to do a thing easier and better so don’t discount a plan before hearing them out or even giving them a try.

Smart people keep learning and don’t stick with the old ways of doing things.

Don’t think just because you’ve been with the company longer, or have more years experience that your employees won’t have good ideas.

The younger generation has fresh thoughts and once in a while they come up with something great.

Suggestion box

The best offices have a suggestion box. Yes, you’ll get some silly pieces of paper asking for a hot tub or pool table but amongst the goofy ones you’ll get the occasional brilliant solution.

The advantages of feedback:

It’s easier for people to express issues anonymously than to raise their hand and call out concerns during a meetings. Let it be known you want them to also give any improvements or problems they have worries about.

Remind everyone at staff meetings about the suggestion box. Sometimes a piece of furniture becomes so familiar we forget it is there.

It’s better to find out hidden trouble early on then to have a full-blown lawsuit because one of the co-workers has been harassing an employee who was too afraid to come forward.

Employee morale

Good companies have found ways to raise employee’s attitude by giving incentives when possible. Bonuses, if allowed, or picnics are some of the ways to make everyone’s work environment a happier place.

Human Resource Management can help you with cost and what is available for your department in the way of benefits for employees, extra curricular activities or funds.

Open communication

To often supervisors don’t talk to their employees to get feed back on how things are going. Besides the suggestion box and emails it’s important to have face to face meetings once in a while in a non-threatening environment to get a feel for the atmosphere in the workplace.

When I say non-threatening I mean outside your office. There is something about a desk between manager and employee to make even the most open talkers clam up. Try to meet in the break room, a meeting room or out to lunch sometime to make it feel less formal. You will be surprised what you might find out and I don’t mean just work related stuff.

Joe’s wife may be sick, Mary’s husband may have been laid off or Tom’s dad may have passed away. These things aren’t work related but will give you a better understanding of why these people have been preoccupied and less productive. Problems at home have a way of flowing over into our careers making our performance not up to our usual standards.

Being sympathetic of these issues, sending a card or flowers will make a better relationship and your employees will do a better job when their life gets back on track.


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    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      We have to remember that our staff are people and not computers that are easily rebooted or replaced. Humans have feelings and needs a machine doesn't have.

    • SilentReed profile image

      SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

      Promotion to a managerial level means acknowledgement of your leadership abilities. There are varied style of management as there are managers. Although having the skill in avoiding wasted time, effort and improving the ratio of the output to the input of any system are attributes of a good manager; This article's focus on the human factor is good common sense and down to earth. Organization that are people oriented instead of relying solely on technology tend to be more successful.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Docmo. Most of this is common sense but still worth mentioning so we don't forget them.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 6 years ago from UK

      This is a brilliant 'Top tips' to becoming a great manager. You have managed to package all the good habits of a successful manager in a highly readable and enjoyable hub. Communication, fairplay, listening skills all are present and correct. Well done. Voted up!

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Those are great tips as well, point2make. We have to remember to treat each other with respect. Like I always say, "You get further with honey than vinegar."

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 6 years ago

      Great Hub. As a manager I agree with your suggestions and I would add a couple more.

      Treat your employees with genuine respect at all times. They deserve it....and they have earned it. I would also add that the title of Manager does not suddenly endow you with "brilliance". Remember where you came from and who, ultimately, had the greatest positive effect on your career......your employees!!!

      Voted this hub up.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Teaches, I enjoyed that video too. Maybe we'll have those one day.

      Thanks for reading, incomeguru.

      Phoenix some people are much better managers than others. It's not an easy job but can be done well if they try.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent hub on management.

      Our manager makes a great pretense of listening, but it's a case of out of sight, out of mind. It seems the only time he does take any action is when I mention speaking to our union rep about unresolved issues.

      Our Deputy Manager, on the other hand, does practice what you've written here. I feel I can speak freely with him and voice my concerns. When he says he'll look into it, he actually does and let's me know the results of his investigation and explains why something can or can't happen.

      A little respect goes a long way.

      Voted up, interesting and useful. Socially shared.

    • incomeguru profile image

      Oyewole Folarin 6 years ago from Lagos

      Transparency is very important. A good manager should never hoard information. Bookmarked and voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      Great suggestions, Pamela. As a manager, I found being having an open door policy helped you make the transition successful. Also, your ideas on employee morale are so important. Unfortunately, due to budget decreases, many companies are eliminating these functions. I could use a card like the one on the video.. it was amazing! Voted up.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, yes, favoritism is one of the worst things a manager can do. It causes them to do foolish things sometimes even unethical.

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 6 years ago from California

      Pam, if only I can forward this hub to every manager I've ever known, particularly the ones who work in the corporate environment. Now I'm lucky to have worked with great managers; some actually became friends with. However I've seen managers in other departments that lack a lot of leadership skills. Micromanagers are the worst! And I think favoritism will always be inevitable.

      Great hub, voted up.:-)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Pam....Dynamite. You have neatly and realistically wrapped up this Management package and tied it with a bow! Best info I've seen to date on this issue.. UP++