Management can be a thankless job. There is paperwork to complete, employee complaints to process, meetings to attend and an endless list of tasks that need to be done immediately. After months or years, even the best managers can lose focus on the ultimate goal of managers: creating a productive and satisfying workplace for their employees.
Thankfully, it doesn't take months or even weeks to be a better manager. Taking a small amount of time out of every day to improve employee morale and your own knowledge is all it takes. These are four tips you can implement today to better your department and make your employees' lives simpler.
Learn Something New
While managers have a host of responsibilities outside of managing the day-to-day of their employees, losing touch with employee workflow can spell disaster. Becoming a pinch hitter for your employees is a fantastic way to learn more about the processes you manage, keep employees happy and stress-free and develop a better understanding of your department.
Before the day is over, shadow one of your employees during their daily routine. Ask what works well and what processes can use improvement. Learn enough about your employee's daily responsibilities to help out when workload is high.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
It's hard to cram twenty-four hours of work into an eight hour day but all too often, managers are asked to do just that. It's pivotal for managers to use the tools and resources provided to them to work smarter.
A workforce management system is a great way for managers to easily organize employee training and plan their schedule. Explore the features of your workforce management system that you aren't utilizing and pledge to spend time learning its features and implementing its use. While that may translate to more work today, it will decrease the amount of time you spend doing paperwork and allow more time for employee engagement in the future.
Improve Relationships Outside Your Department
Resolving intra-department strife can help a lot towards a happier, more productive working environment but inter-departmental relationships can also cause work to suffer. Whether it's a miscommunication with billing or a disconnect with IT, reaching out and resolving communication issues with other departments is vital to continuing growth and keeping employees happy.
Today, talk to your employees about challenges they face when interacting with other departments. Keep the dialog positive and proactive. Then, reach out to that manager to see how both departments can work more efficiently.
Too often, managerial effort and time is spent on sub-par employees while overachievers are forgotten, or worse, burdened with their co-workers responsibilities. These excellent employees are either driven away to a more rewarding workplace or succumb to the status quo and lose their drive.
Today, make a point to reward excellence in your department. Whether it's a coffee and doughnut breakfast to thank everyone for meeting targets or a sit down with your top-performer to discuss their success and plan for their future, spending more time on your best employees is a simple and beneficial way to positively influence your team.
While management books may have you thinking you need to be the next Oprah or Bill Gates to achieve greatness, simple but powerful changes can create a bigger impact than releasing the next operating system. Resolving inter-departmental work issues or taking a moment to compliment your top performers are small changes that have a big impact on your employee's engagement and satisfaction. Before the day is over, take an hour or two to become a better manager by following these tips.