Did you know, the single most common reason people switch jobs is because of their Line Manager?
So, the New Year is a great time to make some resolutions associated with your behaviour as a Manager to sit alongside your other goals of getting fit, buying a new house or car or whatever else you have promised yourself this year.
Here are 5 New Year Resolutions you might want to adopt as you begin 2017:
1. Meddle less, delegate more
We’re all meddlers at one level or another. This is either because we like showing off what we know or, at heart, we’re control freaks. If it’s the latter this may be because you want to know every aspect of your team‘s activities in case your boss asks you something.
However, research shows that staff who are empowered to make their own decisions and left alone to get on with their tasks and duties, perform much more effectively. It’s positively good to let go, try it and see!
2. Prioritise your work
You might believe that everything you do is important, and urgent, but the sad fact is, this is not the case. Some tasks are more important than others but they need identifying. So why not list all your weekly and monthly duties under four headings: important and urgent; important but not urgent; unimportant and urgent; unimportant and not urgent.
Take everything you put under “unimportant and urgent” and try to delegate this to someone else. Then reduce the noise created by all the tasks you put under “unimportant and not urgent”, by stopping doing them completely or minimising them as much as possible.
Do these things and you will find your work life has immeasurably improved and you have much more time to manage your staff and to focus on the activities and duties which really matter.
3. Be a predictive manager
Most of the time, Managers are brilliant at solving problems and some believe this to be their prime job. When the production line grinds to a halt, they are the ones who find the fault and get it going again. In fact, Managers thrive on problems, as this is their chance to shine.
What Managers spend far too little time doing is working out how they can prevent the problem from occurring in the first place. This is called Predictive Management.
So, why not devote some time each week to looking at a recent problem. Ask yourself what caused it? Were there any warning signs? How might you reduce the chances of it happening again.? Spend more time stopping the fire from breaking out, rather than fighting the fire.
4. Small gestures, big rewards
Your staff will love a bit of recognition for a piece of work they’ve done or for a family or personal anniversary. It shows you care about them as people. And it only takes a few seconds of your time.
Rather than finding fault with poor work, concentrate on trying to catch people doing things right and recognise them for it.
So next time you are walking around your call centre or factory floor, take the time to stop and have a quiet word with various members of staff. Asking someone if their mother is out of hospital yet, or if their son won his football match at the weekend will make them feel very special. If you get some great customer feedback, make sure the people responsible are thanked personally…by you.
5. Be consistent
I’m afraid that being a Manager means being on parade all the time. You’re not allowed to be in a foul mood on one day and a great one the next. You have to show consistency in your behaviour towards your staff day in, day out. You’re not just in business, you’re in show business.
Members of your team will always respect you if they can see that they are being handled fairly and equitably and that your decisions are based on facts and data rather than some other subjective factors
Resolve to be a better Manager in 2017 and watch how your team will reward you with hard work, loyalty and respect.
About the author:Nick Foot is the Programme Leader for the Essential Management Programme at Cranfield School of Management. Nick has enjoyed a long and successful career in the corporate travel, hospitality and event management industries. He has been closely involved in the acquisition of several companies and has managed in both growing and declining environments. Nick attended the BGP programme in 2001 and today he is the co-founder of an EdTech business, Wyrd, and a director of a London-based stationery business. He is a non-executive director of two further companies alongside his roles with Cranfield School of Management.