How to be a manager for whom people enjoy working
Managers are arguably the most disliked personnel in any work environment. And it's pretty understandable since most of them think that being manager gives them carte blanche authority to treat their employees however they may wish to; asking them to put in long hours at office and work relentlessly without holidays while never once offering them anything resembling a compliment or an acknowledgement. But, following this management philosophy only fosters disinterest and frustration in employees who'll never feel like giving their 100 percent at work. Yet managers need to make sure that their employees are meeting their work targets and that their performance is up to the standards. So, how does one do that while still appeasing one's subordinates? By following these don'ts:
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Don't hand-off your work to subordinates
Being the boss doesn’t give you any right to make your subordinates to the work that you’ve been assigned. If it’s your responsibility to do something, it should be you who does it. Since the people working under you can’t refuse to do anything you assign them, handing-off your work to them just breeds resentment.
Don't forget about the team
A good manager always shares credit and takes blame. Your team did something well? Acknowledge them for it. Don’t go to your superiors and boast that it happened all because of you; give credit where credit is due. Also, be wary of the words you use while talking to the people you manage. It should always be ‘our project’, ‘our team’, or ‘we did this’, and never ‘my project’ or ‘I did it’. And if someone on your team does mess up, take the blame for it (unless it’s something incredibly serious). Doing so fosters loyalty and compels people to work harder to make up for their mistakes.
Don't assume you know what's best
As a manager, you have the authority to impose your decisions upon your team, but never assume that you know what’s best. Taking your staff’s opinions before taking a decision not only makes them feel valued, it may also yield a unique perspective on a problem that you may not have noticed. Involving your team in decisions that affect them is the hallmark of every good and likeable manager.
Don't create problems where there are none
Say, for example, that one employee is clocking in fewer hours than his colleagues. You may, as a manger, think that it’s a problem. But what if he or she is meeting all his targets on time and is causing no other issues at the office? Is it still a problem then? Managers often micro-manage their subordinates and subject them to restrictions that only hamper their productivity and will to work. Before you reprimand someone for an issue, or find a way to improve a situation, make sure that there’s a problem in the first place.
Don't be apathetic
Every employee is a human being with very human problems. Taking the time to listen and understand their point of view when they come to you with problems, and then taking genuine action to alleviate their difficulties is something that goes a long way into making people want to work for you. Empathetic managers, ones who relates with their employees and build good relationships with them, will always see the highest motivation and productivity levels in their teams.
A manager's job is to help his subordinates, not to command them. Being a leader and not a boss is all it takes to be a good manager whom people look forward to working with.