4 Habits of Great Managers
Anyone can track employee time and pass along HR announcements. Great managers are savvy people leaders who transform strategic intent into tangible action through sheer influence. Their ability to produce value through others sets them apart from even the most knowledgeable independent contributor. Up your managerial game by adopting these four actions:
- Coach Your Employees: If you start working for someone in January and you are the same person in December, you both wasted your time. Great managers actively develop their people, producing a win for themselves, the employee, and the organization.
- Support Employee Movement: Great managers don’t hoard talent. They actively encourage good employees to chase the next position. They are never worried about a shortage of workers because they are known as talent developers and have a line of people waiting to work with them.
- Share Credit: Everyone knows who is who in the zoo. Great managers don’t steal the limelight. They share or simply pass on credit to high performers and take pride in moving them forward.
- Give Tough Feedback: Great managers will tell an employee when he/she has the proverbial spinach in their teeth. They help employees see their blind spots and then circle back to my first point and coach them on how to fix it.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to adopt these habits and become a great manager. In fairness however, the task is easier if the organization’s culture and HR processes support your endeavors. Managers should encourage organizational leaders to adopt a transparent feedback-focused culture where managers are encouraged to and ideally rewarded for developing talent.
Companies can begin supporting a shift to a development culture with subtle changes to process. For example you can adjust the internal application process to ensure current managers are notified by the employee before he/she applies for a new job. This will spark a conversation between the current and potential managers as to the individual’s readiness. If it’s a fit they can move forward with a reasonable transition plan. If the job is too much of a stretch (missing key skills or experiences), the current manager can coach the employee on alternate next steps to prepare for the job in the future. Adopting this “manager as career coach” framework increases engagement, speeds the hiring process, and makes debriefing conversations much easier.