Good management increases morale, productivity and contributes to a healthy organisational culture. Unfortunately, we are all very aware of the fallout of bad management and the negative impact on efficiency, wellbeing and the bottom line. These tips are useful points of reflection and an overview of some techniques to keep a healthy and motivated team.
1. Delegate wisely
Delegating, demonstrates trust and the ability to prioritise. It is not the same as dumping on staff, it is allocating tasks according to the expertise, experience and roles within the team. The payoff is team members that take ownership for specific areas of work. It also creates an enhanced sense of responsibility and a shared understanding of individual and collective contributions to the big picture.
2. Make meetings meaningful
The lifeblood of any organisation is the people and good communications. Understanding the different types of meetings and the importance of using meetings effectively is critical for effective management. Simple things like, a timed agenda, good facilitation and using strategies to make sure everyone participates is highly important. It is the difference between a confident engaged and high performing team and an uninspired team where the individuals are demoralised and going through the motions.
3. Take staff development seriously
Companies that invest in staff training and development create resilient organisations and retain good staff that are not afraid to be creative and use their initiative. Conversely, where developing people is not a priority, staff motivation and commitment is low. This results in low performance and a high staff turnover. Investing in the development of staff is one of the key indicators of a healthy workplace. Managers should be addressing staff development in appraisals in one-to-one meetings and should encourage staff to have a personal development plan as a dynamic tool for career and personal development.
4. Focus on well-being
This is such an important consideration especially during these unprecedented times. The reports on the impact of the global pandemic and the lifestyle adjustments people have had to make, all indicate that mental health is an important issues for everyone. Uncertainty, job insecurity, restrictions on how people relate and interact causes stress and anxiety. In the workplace it is easy for this problem to be hidden. In some organisations sharing mental health struggles can be difficult. Managers should be proactive in supporting individual team members to open up about challenges. Good managers are able to provide, support, advice, guidance and signpost to specialist help where necessary.
It is important that managers and leaders are committed to creating a culture that supports well-being as a strategic priority. This includes taking steps to foster a culture in which wellbeing is embedded into work practices as well as being alert to signs that individuals may be struggling and being clear about how to provide support in such instances.
The personal attribute that is often not well acknowledged as an essential requirement for a manager, is self-awareness. Yet, most of us will be aware of people in positions of authority that are completely unable to, read the room, show empathy when needed or provide a considered response to a complex problem and so on. Self-awareness is a natural attribute for some personality types. For others it needs work and the development of the practice of asking questions that invite self-reflection and a regular study of the impact of the decision-making and actions that are made when acting in a management capacity and in a position of authority that can have a huge impact on others. Hopefully, this can be developed with a good senior manager or coach.
Self-awareness speaks to other valuable skills and attributes. There is a high degree of discipline, reflectiveness and objectivity that all managers need to have. Applying all these to how people, functions or organisations are managed is the difference between being an average to being a great manager. A self-aware manager will naturally be attentive to organisational culture, risks and the wellbeing and development of the team.