It has happened – you’ve made the jump and are now managing people! But wait, what do you do? How do you handle transitioning from peer to boss? Are you prepared for this promotion? The quote, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers,” definitely has some truth to it – not solely, but some. No pressure! Becoming an effective manager takes training, time, and quite frankly practice. In today’s workplace you’ll be hit with all sorts of scenarios, from work related issues to personal challenges that creep into the workplace. And, something that I still am getting used to, is the time needed to give it its due consideration.
AgCareers.com is holding a Leadership Enhancement Development Course in Ames, IA, June 5 – 6. We’ll talk about a lot of ways to become an effective manager. This is a great workshop for those new to managing or for those that need a little fine-tuning to their efforts. This is limited due to the interactive nature, so if you have interest, please sign up early.
Here is a sneak peek and a few of my keys to strengthening your managing skills:
In the course we talk about X & Y managers. As you can imagine, those are the two extremes. And while there is a place for both, my key takeaway has always been to be steady and consistent with your approach (preferably somewhere in the middle). You want your team to know what to expect of you when interacting. Being hard-headed and brash one day and sensitive and empathetic the next is hard for anyone to adjust to. Find your style and stick with it – adapting only when the situation is fitting, not on a whim!
Spend time with your team and get to know them. Work is where we spend a good portion of our time, let’s make it enjoyable by caring for each other. No, you don’t have to love everyone you work with, but you can find mutual respect and treat them as a person. This compassion and recognition can go a long way in building strong working relationships, especially as an effective manager.
Another key highlight from the workshop, we talk a lot about motivation. No, it isn’t money – it is recognition that makes the most difference and has the ability to have a long-lasting impact. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can pay your employees squat! Things need to be competitive, but the good news is that what matters the most, doesn’t cost a thing. On the flip side, lack of recognition can have just as much of a negative impact. Tell people when they are doing good!
Talk with your employees, both from a personal and professional standpoint. Being able to share updates on the business and bring team members into the fold as frequently as possible is important. Also, I was given a piece of advice early in my managing career that I hold very close – performance reviews should not be scary for your employee. The theory is that you should be communicating, providing feedback and addressing sticky situations all along the way as needed. Not waiting until a performance review to spring all the bad stuff on your team member. Performance reviews are for reiteration and checking in on how situations that have already been addressed are going. Give feedback and address issues as they arise. Don’t wait!
Accountability can be discussed from a lot of angles and the workshop will cover a couple. I believe accountability both at a personal level and employee level is key. By being personally accountable, you are setting an example and demonstrating expectations to your employees. Employee accountability is the backbone of an organization.
I’d like to end with one of my favorite quotes. It is a good reminder and summary of what an effective manager can do to prepare:
“Treat employees like they make a difference and they will.” ~ Jim Goodnight
Don’t forget to join us June 6 -7 for Leadership Enhancement: A Leader Development Course in Ames, IA. Register today!