Being a successful manager requires a wide range of attributes, skills, and a great attitude towards work. While these necessities have been well-researched, even Google's Project Oxygen came up with the 10 most important traits, reviewing this topic from the employee's point of view can shed new light and restructure previously known, firm lists.
Looking at the demand for management from the employees' perspective, it's easy to see that there is a high demand for good-quality management. Even though management power is based on ownership or chain of command, it can be seen as a service-like offering towards the employees.
So, what makes a good manager? Here are some traits that employees look for in their managers and some examples to illustrate them.
Clear communication is crucial for any successful relationship, including the ones in the workplace. As a manager, it is essential to communicate your expectations clearly. While a few of your employees might be on the same page with you more often than others, it results in a safer and more engaging environment if you are communicating your expectations.
For example, when giving feedback, don't try to avoid negative critique, instead assertively go into details. Articulate what the discussed situation made you feel and ask how it can be avoided next time.
Consistency is essential in today's constantly changing times. When it comes to instructions, it is essential to be as consistent as possible. Inconsistency in communication leads to a misguided team and decreasing motivation. Therefore, don't communicate differently for different audiences. Many bosses hold back information from their team, but this can backfire anytime; therefore, you should avoid it.
Leading by example is another trait that employees value in their managers. The best managers are easy to reach and always have their doors open to their employees. However, this should not be confused with being the first one to jump on any new task that comes up in the company. Instead, always have your knowledge up-to-date and be ready to make quick decisions. If your role is closely related to specialists or industry experts, you should be able to have at least a basic understanding of what they are doing to be able to provide support to them.
Dependability is another trait that employees seek in their managers. They are looking for managers whom they can look up to and depend on when it comes to handling issues, problems, or crises. Your team needs to feel that they can rely on you and that you have their backs.
The best managers create a work environment in which their employees can make mistakes without jeopardizing their jobs. Create a company or team culture that prefers an innovative approach with openness towards corrections instead of aiming for perfection and be there for your team when they need you. Be their shoulder to cry on, recognise them, promote them, and most importantly, protect them.
Keeping the above traits in mind while seeking your management style and strengthening the necessary attributes and skills will help you become the best possible manager.