10 new year’s resolutions for managers

[vc_row][vc_column width= »1/1″][vc_column_text]Here are ten top tips on how to become a better manager in 2015 and enhance employee wellbeing and productivity.

 

1. Let individuals know when they’re doing a good job

Most managers don’t tell employees when they do a good job – it’s usually only when they did a fantastic job. But praise when it’s deserved is critical because it’s a big motivator and drives productivity. If someone does a good job, rather than saying nothing or doing a jokey comment, tell them.

 

2. Listen to the people you manage

Many managers talk, rather than listen to employees. This is a mistake; it’s only when individuals are properly listened to that they feel valued, engaged and are ultimately more productive. To ensure you are listening effectively, do not interrupt and feedback what the employee said to you. This reinforces that you are really listening and gives them chance to clarify what they mean, should it be necessary.

 

3. Try to avoid finding faults

Give constructive, non-evaluative feedback. We all make mistakes and blaming an individual can really knock their confidence. Be very specific with your criticism and explain what they did wrong and how to improve.

 

4. Provide opportunities that stretch individuals

Employees don’t want to do the same thing over and over again as it can be boring and de-motivating. When people are given greater responsibility at work they feel trusted and valued, which helps to empower them and increase their confidence.

If you feel that one of your team could take on more responsibility, tell them that you think they are capable and ask if they’d like a new challenge. You could give them ideas of extra tasks that would work for them, or let them come to you with ideas. But make sure you give them the opportunity to let you know if it is too much – you don’t want to overstretch them.

 

5. Create team building opportunities

We lead such frenetic lives and work long hours, so it’s vital we are given the chance to bond with colleagues as team building creates a more cohesive and happy workforce. Everybody laughs at team building but it doesn’t have to be an organised day out, the little things can help. For example, we’re now wedded to our computers, but next time you need someone in the office to do something, ask them rather than emailing them.

 

6. Don’t pitch one employee against another

Many employers do this thinking it will enhance performance, but it only ends up creating competition, lack of communication and even potential for sabotage. Many people are already feeling insecure about their jobs in the current economic climate, so you don’t need to add competition to the mix as well. Internal relationships need to be strong.

 

7. Create a good work / life balance

Don’t create a culture of long working hours. The overwhelming evidence shows that consistently working more than around 45 hours a week negatively affects employees’ health and they become far less productive. Tell people they do not need to be in the office if they’re staying too late, and send them home.

 

8. Allow your employees to work more flexibly

Don’t micro-manage individuals by only allowing them to work in the office environment. Letting them do their jobs in their own way will create trust and improve performance. Create flexible working arrangements – let staff stay at home and work via email, if you are in the kind of organisation that can. Trust your staff — don’t judge them by the time they are in their office, but by their output.

 

9. Be supportive

The more supportive you are, the better. And remember, the people you line manage might pass you in the hierarchy one day so it can pay to be helpful. Be honest and reasonable. You need to be balanced; ensure that your team is sufficiently supported but also meet their targets.

 

10. Create an environment where employees feel engaged

Look after your employees’ health. Look at the people you work with and make them feel valued. Communicate with your employees and be aware of their wants and needs.[/vc_column_text][dt_gap height= »10″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width= »1/1″][dt_quote type= »blockquote » font_size= »normal » background= »plain » animation= »none »]Cary Cooper is professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School. He is also a member of BITC’s Workwell campaign[/dt_quote][/vc_column][/vc_row]