Why we need good managers and how to be one

Recently, employee’s engagement levels have been dropping consistently. This situation does not only cost companies millions of dollars in recruiting and training, but it also affects productivity levels which directly affect a business’ revenue. In the U.S., only about 16% of employees feel they are fully engaged with their company compared to the 49.5% that considered themselves not engaged.

For this reason, near 88% of businesses are aiming to develop a more engaged workforce in 2017. The main objective of this practice is to increase employee’s retention and satisfaction, as over 11 billion dollars are lost every year due to increasing worker turnover.

There are many factors that can affect an employee’s engagement. However, the one aspect that creates the most impact on workers is management. In recent studies, a raise of 147% in earnings was seen in businesses that increased the total of skilled managers and doubled the rate of worker engagement. Therefore, for most companies maintaining personnel represents a vital capability for achieving good performance levels. Yet, 83% of employers consider that achieving good retention levels is becoming more and more challenging every year.

There is irrefutable evidence proving the importance of good managers and how they are essential for achieving good productivity levels in work teams. Then, what makes a manager outstanding?

Frequently, managers have a wide range of functions they need to fulfill. Nonetheless, two of the most important ones are leadership and motivation. Other skills are also beneficial but, it is important to remember that other roles such as planning or organization will not have as much of a positive impact in the business if other employees are demotivated or discontent with the company. In today’s competitive environment, success cannot occur without good and effective team collaboration. So, what do managers have to do to build effective teams?

The first habit that good managers have is to give proper credit when it is due. As we explained before, teamwork is essential for success and bringing the business to the top is not a one-man job. Recognizing others efforts is essential for the development of the company, as 71% of employees that believe their boss knows their strengths tend to feel more energetic and show higher levels of engagement towards the business.

In addition to giving credit, good managers are accountable for their actions. This means they are able to quickly acknowledge their mistakes. This creates an environment that promotes respect and trust between coworkers. By showing vulnerability, managers can promote a culture that focuses on encouraging initiatives instead of focusing on mistakes. This concept of vulnerability will lead us to the next important skill from great managers.

Good managers understand that mistakes are inevitable and therefore, they do not promote a culture of perfection as employees who feel supported, rather than fearful, are 1.3 times most likely to stay at their current job and feel 67% more engaged. Progress cannot be achieved without a couple of mistakes on the way. This is why is important for managers to accept when an employee makes a mistake and encourage them to learn from the experience instead of creating fear, as this can shut down opportunities for innovation and growth. However, it is important to maintain a balance between the mistakes where we can learn from and the mistakes that could have been avoided. When a careless mistake is made, it is still important to held accountable the person who made the mistake.

These actions cannot be achieved without a good communication. For this reason, it is key for managers to give themselves time to properly talk to each one of the persons on their teams. It is not possible to show support or encourage growth without knowing the motivations or goals of its members. Communication is crucial in a good team, as 54% of workers that feel they can communicate freely with their boss tend to show much higher engagement levels and 75% of workers who feel their boss listens to them expressed the desire to stay longer in the organization.

Good managers also understand that business progress relies on the growth obtained by its members. When an employee manages to obtain better results, this is directly reflected on the company. This is why good managers understand the importance of promoting professional development and are open to giving quality feedback, even if sometimes this is not positive. Not telling workers where they need to work on or new ways to improve their results will ultimate affect the business and its progress. Great managers are there to offer direction to the group. Unfortunately, as many as 68% of workers feel that their superiors do not take interest in their professional development.

Promoting growth does not only rely on giving feedback at some point or another, managers should act as growth enablers. This means that employees should feel they have access to their superior for guidance in case they need it. For an employee, knowing their boss will offer guidance when they need it can greatly improve their results.

Finally, one last key capability for managers is to understand that personal development will also directly affect an employee’s performance. For this reason, it is key for a manager to be able to motivate others to detach from work responsibilities during vacations or after working hours, as people need to rest and recharge in order to be in their best shape for work. Regrettably, as much as 32% of managers don’t communicate the importance of taking breaks and 25% of employees presume that their bosses expect them to work during this time.

Managers have the big responsibility to help others progress since as we said before, the success of a company cannot be achieved by only one person. Instead, it is the collaborative work that promotes development and innovation within a business and ultimately, it is this group work who will lead a company to success.

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