Setting a good example
When you are a people manager, others will take their lead from you and follow your example – so make sure you set a good one! They will copy all your bad habits and characteristics as well as the good ones. If you stay working until all hours, that is what they will think you expect of them as well. If you come into work, even when you are feeling lousy, then they will think that is what they need to do as well.
So be enthusiastic about your goals and vision and bring your team along with you.
Show you care
One of the best people managers I have ever known made the effort to visit each member of her team (sometimes virtually, by email or text) and check in with them each day. That simple gesture – sometimes nothing more than “Good Morning, how are you today?”- endeared her to her team and gave them a chance to raise with her anything which might be bothering them. It showed she cared about them.
Don’t give out blame or shame
Even when there are disasters – and there always are some – there is always something positive to latch onto. That is much more healthy than pointing a finger. Find out what happened and why – that way you can prevent a recurrence. Even if you feel blame is justified, it is rarely helpful to point it out. How you react can make your team love you or can damage your working relationships for ever – it is your choice.
Share as much as you can about the vision, goals and direction of the company. And do it regularly. Celebrate when things go well and thank people. Share the bad news, as well. Your team deserves to know how things stand, and if they feel trusted they will put in the effort to help you recover.
Listen and learn
Communication is a two way street and you need to be able to listen to your team and hear their concerns, frustrations and share their achievements. People need to feel they can raise anything with you, without fear. If they can’t talk to you, they will gossip with others and the truth will get garbled. Communicating in person with them will help them feel valued. Ask them what they want – they might surprise you.
Invest some time in helping your employees to grow
Invest some time and effort in helping your employees to grow. You will reap the benefits and they will thank you for it.
Help them to get promoted. They will stay longer and the Company will benefit.
Set them free and they will fly high
There is no need to micromanage everything and everyone. When you empower others, give them space and allow them autonomy, then they will surprise you with their achievements. If you are not flexible, they will not trust you and they will become demotivated.
If you let them know they are valued and you trust them, they will soon be reaching for the stars.
Be good at what you do, but even more be a good people manager
People are often promoted to management positions because they have good technical skills. Which is great. Your team will be able to use your skills as a point of reference.
But even more important are the “soft” skills which enable you to be a good people manager. These are the skills which you may not already have when you become a manager. The good news is that they can be learnt.
The key message for now is that you need to learn them, fast.