Many believe that leadership is an acquired skill, while some believe it is innate but developed over time. Whichever may be the case, one thing is for sure that not everyone possesses leadership traits and a good manager is far more difficult to find than we realize. In spite of knowing the importance of putting the right person in charge, most organizations fail to find the right talent.
The changing work environment is demanding for the managers as they shuffle between multiple tasks to get the work done effectively from their teams. And according to a Gallup study, only 1 in 10 people have the right skill set to be good managers.
Having said that, we all know that improving your leadership skills is in your own control. All you need to do is to study what some of the best leaders do and learn from them. So what is it that a great manager needs to do to drive excellence among his team members? Let’s find out.
Fair, precise and regular feedback
In a connected and fast-paced workplace, employees often feel that the performance feedback they get isn’t fair or accurate and is often delayed until the annual review. An informal feedback session from the manager which is fair, precise and regular can make a lot of difference in driving excellence in the workplace. This feedback must be drawn from knowledgeable sources, and must reflect the employee’s individual contributions to make it more effective.
Emphasizing on the strengths on an employee reinforces high performance enabling behavior. It also helps them to identify where and how to contribute their efforts within the team. On the other hand, focusing on the weak points will result in reduced performance and engagement from the employees and is not recommended.
The manager must be aware of specific, result-oriented performance expectations and must be able to convey them to the each individual in the team. Clarity on the definition of success for the team is far more important than the annual plans of the organization. As a manager, your team members look up to you for direction to ensure that their daily tasks are in line with the organizational goals.
Developing skill sets for the future
The pace of business demands that employees stay abreast with the changing work environment. Focusing on the needs of the future than what has already been accomplished can prove to be far more beneficial for the individual as well as the organization. Feedback that incorporates the skill requirements of the future is more important as it can bring manifold benefits for the organization in the future.
Gauging performance from wider feedback
A collaborative work environment where each employee is interacting with many others on a daily basis requires that the manager obtain performance feedback from all the available sources rather than depending on a few. However, this should be done while keeping in mind that not all interactions are at the same level and only those feedback sources should be considered to whom the employee makes a significant contribution.
Employee performance is not limited to interactions within the organization alone and is also dependent on interactions with outside entities. Great managers help their employees to build a network outside of the workplace. Encouraging them to extend their external network by introducing them to your peers at industry meets or informal gatherings is a good way to start.
Show genuine commitment to their career development
Employees need to know that the organization has a sincere, credible and realistic development plan for their career. But development plans alone do not serve the purpose unless the managers show genuine interest and commitment in career development of their team members. This little move can help enhance the performance of employees far more effectively than any other means.
Great managers are dynamic, they possess a variety of skills seamlessly integrated into a single personality in the workplace. These here are some of the more widely practiced skills by managers who have excelled at driving excellence. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to make a great manager appear out of thin air. All you can do is practice and learn with each experience and you’ll find your own managerial skills that help you drive excellence in the workplace.