Whether you are a brand-new manager or someone that has been on the job for decades, the task of management presents a few challenges to the leaders that those under them do not have to balance. These management challenges are present for managers in any field, and the development and refinement of preparation for them can spell the difference between a successful manager and someone that burns out and transfers away.
The challenges of every manager can best be divided into 5 different arenas: how the manager prepares their time, how realistic the managers assess their team potential, how well they communicate their vision, how open they are to feedback, and how positive they make their workplace.
1- Time Management
One pitfall into which many managers fall is over-committing themselves to specific areas and failing in managerial responsibilities. It is easy for an experienced and trained manager to feel like their own participation would make things go faster, and there is the temptation to just do complex jobs, themselves. However, doing so takes them away from being able to see deficiencies in other areas or responding to unexpected challenges. “If you’re a manager, there is a reason you have multiple employees reporting to you,” says Maurie Blackman from The Motley Fool at CNN. Further, it does not satisfy the managerial responsibility of creating a team trained to accomplish their tasks.
2- An Accurate Team Audit
As you turn the tasks over to your employees, it is very important to take an audit of what your team is capable of performing. Everyone wants to impress the boss, so failures in knowledge or employee workload can be missed, until it is too late. They may nod in agreement in the classes, but that does not mean they understand the tasks. Getting an accurate gauge of what can be expected from your team is essential, before you start making promises to upper management or clients.
3- Shared Vision
Once you know how able your team is to respond to the tasks in front of them, it helps to have employees that want to work those tasks. There are a variety of ways to inspire team members to work harder; however, few things can motivate employees more than knowing what their work is accomplishing on the big picture. Taking time to include them in company vision can result in impressive outcomes.
4- Open Door
Now, when the employees are trained and have embraced the responsibility of rising to the vision for success, the employees will run into situations for which they were not prepared or face the potential of overburdening themselves, which was the first challenge you avoided for yourself. This is where it is important to have an open door policy for feedback, which will allow the employees to bring their concerns or shortcomings to the notice of the managers before they become roadblocks.
5- Be Their Cheerleader
Finally, when the process is in place and operating to the effectual output of company goals, it is easy for employees to feel unappreciated or to lose their passion for the job. Creating a positive workplace that allows for the employees to feel happy about their workplace is important in retaining employees and recharging their batteries. Peter Economy at Inc. says that “successful leaders make their organizations fun places to work.” Happy employees make managers happier.
No matter what industry a manager finds themselves, they will find the job boils down to these important areas. A mastery of satisfying these needs will help a manager feel balanced and confident in the output of their team, and it will help create a team that feels prepared and happy to be a part of the managers goals and vision.