In today's corporate world, managers are judged by the performance of the teams they manage. If your team isn't reflecting the positive image you want to portray, there may be a little room for improvement in your management style.
Here are 10 tips to help you improve:
1. Tailor your management style. Just like each manager has a different management style, each employee has a different way of being managed. It can seem daunting to switch your technique every time you interact with another employee, but paying attention to key motivators may help you maximize each team member's efficiency.
2. Listen better. Successful managers listen to their staff and take action. Don't say your door is always open, and then never act on what your employees bring to you. Show that you can earn their trust by listening to their concerns and suggestions and showing that you care.
3. Lead by example. Make sure you're acting how you want your staff to act. You want to act as an example of what the company expects of a stellar employee, so make sure you're giving off the right vibe to encourage your staff to follow in your footsteps.
4. Never show favoritism. While it is natural to make work friends, be careful about buddying up with one of your staff as it can make others feel that you're showing favoritism, even if you don't think you are. Treat all your staff equally, and limit your number of personal relationships. Don't let your personality preferences get in the way of managing fairly.
5. Keep learning. Good managers want to improve constantly. Read books, blogs, and white papers about management, and attend conferences and workshops to improve your skills. Management is a learned skill.
6. Help your staff succeed. Few people are interested in keeping the same job for 50 years. Help your staff by promoting and recommending them for other positions in the company. Make it clear that you're there to help them find the best fit professionally—even if it isn't in your department.
7. Hire people smarter than you. Don't let vanity get in your way; it behooves you to hire intelligent people who can perform their jobs above expectations. Surrounding yourself with smart folks only raises the bar for you.
8. Be around. Managers who hide behind closed doors miss out on valuable opportunities to interact with their teams and really get a feel for the office climate. Don't be one of those. Spend time with your staff daily, and know what's going on so you can avoid potential issues.
9. Create trust. Be a boss of your word; when you say you'll do something, follow through. This helps your staff understand that you can be trusted, and it will encourage them to work their hardest for you.
10. Know that you'll never get "there." There's no pinnacle on Mount Manager. You never become the ideal manager; you simply continue to get better. By staying humble and continuing to work on your own professional development, you'll find that your management skills will improve constantly. Take feedback from your boss about ways to improve, and continually look for areas that need enrichment.
Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs.com, a niche job board for public relations, communications, and social media jobs. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.