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10 ways to spot a good manager

By Fi Darby

In a recent survey, Gallup conducted a piece of research that suggested that only 1 in 10 people have the skill set to be good managers. Whether you are a manager or have a manager (for many of you both of these will be true) you will undoubtedly have some strong opinions on the question of how to be a good manager. As your career has progressed you will have learnt to appreciate good management skills and complain about poor ones. Being able to tell the difference can be a very useful work and life skill. We have 10 sure-fire ways to help you spot a good manager.

Here are 10 ways to spot a great manager

How do you spot great management skills? Is it down to having a great personality or how you enhance company culture? Here are the major signs that demonstrate true leadership qualities

#1: Good managers treat each individual separately

woman colleagues working with each other

A good manager will go out of their way to find out the skillset, background and ambitions of each of their employees and help them to fulfill their potential. This works well for both employees and the organisation; happy, fulfilled staff are easy to motivate and retain.

#2: Good managers control their emotions

managing emotions concept

There are few things more difficult to deal with than a manager who lets emotions get in the way of sound decision-making. Decisions and comments made whilst in an emotional state can have detrimental effects on both staff morale and performance stability.

#3: Low staff turnover

staff putting thumbs up

You can find out how good a manager is by investigating the levels of staff turnover in his or her department. If staff regularly leave after a few months then there is likely to be an issue with management technique. High staff turnover is costly for business from the point of view of both productivity and repeated training or induction costs.

#4: Good managers spend time relaxing with their team

woman in glasses meditating

There is a balance between relaxing with the team and being over familiar during office time. However a manager who can spend at least some time relaxing with his or her team will develop mutual understanding which will, in turn, lead to stronger working relationships.

#5: Good managers are interested in developing their employees’ skills

moving up at work concept

Employee development can often fall to the bottom of a busy manager’s to-do list. This however is a mistake because when staff are encouraged to upskill they add to an organisation’s bank of skills, are more able to work independently and have increased company loyalty.

#6: Good managers are seen by their staff not hidden away

male boss giving envelope to male employee

A poor manager will hide away from his or her staff, conduct their management online and not be available to answer questions or provide support. This can lead to insecurity over decision-making, an unwillingness to innovate and general job dissatisfaction. A visible manager is seen as part of the ‘team’ by staff, which, as well as being great for productivity is a motivating factor for all involved. A 2016 study by Harvard Business Review found that employees who had twice as much time with their managers as their peers were 67% less disengaged.

#7: Good managers trust people to get the job done

team handshake
Whilst a good manager should be visible and available to staff they should not micromanage tasks. Managers who get over involved in too many tasks risk burning themselves out and developing a team that is incapable of autonomous working.

#8: Good managers see mistakes as learning opportunities

woman boss showing employee how to do things

A good manager will recognise that mistakes are inevitable. The way that a manager handles staff mistakes can have a big impact on future performance. Giving employees the opportunity to talk through mistakes and what led up to them will help them to develop resilience, avoid the same mistakes being made again and give a manager the opportunity to improve quality control processes.

#9: Good managers are not afraid to say ‘I don’t know.’

confused concept

Nobody knows everything and the ability to admit this is a key management skill. Gaps in knowledge should be acknowledged and then acted upon. Phrases like, ‘I’m going to have to find out more about that,’ are a great encouragement to those still learning to do a job. Managers who admit to gaps in their knowledge will encourage employees to do the same, which in turn will contribute to a great learning environment.

#10: Good managers understand the importance of being better managers

puzzle pieces being put together

When considering the question of, ‘how to be a good manager,’ there may be an argument for management skills being more nature than nurture. However, no matter how good your innate management skills are, there is always room for improvement. Look at the list above, you are sure to score more highly in some areas than others.

‘Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.’

He had recognised two truths, not only that leadership and management skills can be learned but also that a good manager will recognise the importance of and engage in ongoing learning. Whether you have set your sights on becoming a better manager or have ambitions to gain your own brand new set of management skills, Upskilled offers a range of management courses from certificate up to advanced diploma level. Get in touch with our experts to find out more about how we can help you or your staff to study management online, develop your management skills and become stronger and more effective managers.

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*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.