The Insider’s Guide to Managing Smarter (not Harder)

It’s one thing to do a job well; it’s another to manage it.

While many managers get their jobs by being good at the substantive, day-to-day tasks, many also enter the job with a lot of raw talent but few developed managerial skills. Yet any manager can learn to “manage smarter, not harder,” keeping employees motivated and productive while never losing sight of the larger goal.

Here is an insider’s guide to better management:

  1. Be willing to embrace opportunities and change. Part of a manager’s job is to make sure staff does their jobs the right way. But the “right” way isn’t necessarily “the way we’ve always done it.” As business changes, so do the ways in which jobs can be done most efficiently and effectively. By being willing to accept recommendations from staff and embrace opportunities, managers can demonstrate they care about their workers and find better ways to complete the team’s shared goals.
  2. Make sure your employees know exactly where to focus their energies. Setting high standards can be a great motivator, but only if you give your employees clear steps for meeting them and measurable ways to know when they have. Creating clear objectives helps your employees meet their daily responsibilities, see how their work fits into the company’s larger goals, and track their own progress toward performance improvement or a desired promotion.
  3. Provide meaningful feedback in real time. A yearly performance review gives you an opportunity to “dig in” to an employee’s performance in a focused, one-on-one setting. But to get the best work from your staff year-round, don’t be afraid to communicate both positive and negative feedback on a regular basis. Even when you’re not physically in the office, a quick email, text, or phone call can go a long way towards moving employees’ daily work from “competent” to “excellent.”
  4. Deal with conflict directly. Most workplaces have no shortage of potential sites of conflict. By the time a manager gets involved, it’s often because a conflict has expanded further than those involved in it can manage. Don’t hesitate to deal with conflict directly and hear all sides before making a decision – or better yet, encourage employees to find the “common ground” necessary to resolve their own issue.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters match our clients with top talent in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Whether you’re seeking current management staff or candidates who will offer promising management material in the future, contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions.

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