Being an effective manager is a challenging but rewarding task requiring various skills and qualities. While many factors contribute to a manager’s effectiveness, there are some key characteristics essential for success, from strong communication skills to the ability to delegate tasks and handle conflicts and problems efficiently. Whether you are new to a role, or have been in a managerial position for years and are still looking for an opportunity to grow professionally, this article might help you find the answer to the biggest question: What makes you an effective manager and leader? We’ll look at eight characteristics of a manager who aims to become more effective.
How to measure a manager’s effectiveness
In measuring effective management skills, it’s important to consider various factors. This may include the number of tasks completed by the team, the level of satisfaction among team members, and the team’s overall success in meeting its goals. However, it’s also important to consider the project manager skills and tools impact on the team’s overall culture and morale. A manager who can create a positive and inclusive work environment is likely more effective at leading and motivating their team.
8 steps to becoming an effective manager
1. See the task as a whole as a manager
One key aspect of becoming an effective manager is seeing the task as a whole and strategically understanding all the stages of the project. This involves decomposing the task into smaller steps and having a strong understanding of project management principles and techniques. Identify resources needed to complete the task, create a timeline for each step, and ensure that the team has the necessary support and resources to complete the task on time.
To help with this, many managers turn to various solutions, including project management platforms, professional services automation software, ERP systems etc., that can help to visualize the entire project and provide a clear overview of all the stages and tasks involved. These tools can be especially useful for managing complex projects. They allow managers to track progress, identify potential bottlenecks, and make adjustments to keep the project on track.
2. Take care of the team
Create a healthy work environment that supports team members’ emotional well-being and their ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently. It’s also important to accurately distribute tasks among team members, making adjustments as needed to avoid overloading and underloading and ensure everyone has the support they need to succeed.
To create a transparent system of work, it’s important to have everything on hand and not keep everything in your head. This means using task lists, project portfolios, time trackers, Gantt charts, Power BI reports, and other solutions to keep track of tasks, deadlines, and progress. As a manager, it can be a challenge to turn all the chaos and time allocation into a clear system, but with the help of specialized platforms and tools, it becomes much easier to manage and organize your team’s work.
3. Delegate tasks to team members
As a manager, your main functions should be centered on strategy and management rather than getting caught up in the details of day-to-day tasks. This means trusting your team to handle their own tasks and responsibilities and being available to offer guidance and support as needed.
To delegate tasks, it’s important to prepare the technical side of the process. This may involve providing clear instructions and resources, setting clear expectations and deadlines, and ensuring that team members have the tools and resources needed to complete their tasks. It’s also important to establish clear communication lines, whether through email, chat, or professional solutions designed for team collaboration.
As a manager, it’s important to step back and observe your team’s work, rather than micromanaging every aspect of their tasks. This means giving team members the autonomy and independence they need to succeed. By trusting your team and providing the necessary resources and support, you can create a positive and productive work environment where everyone can contribute to the team’s success.
4. Know how to calculate finances
To become an effective manager, it is important to understand how to calculate and track expenses, digitize projects, and track billable and non-billable hours. This includes knowing how to use financial tools and software, such as spreadsheets and project management tools, to accurately track and analyze financial data.
- Сalculating expenses
Understand the costs associated with different aspects of a business, including payroll, rent, supplies, and marketing efforts. It is important to accurately track these expenses to make informed decisions about allocating resources and staying within budget.
- Digitizing projects
Use technology and software to track the progress of projects, including milestones, deadlines, and budget. By digitizing projects, managers can more easily track progress, identify issues, and make adjustments to ensure that projects stay on track and within budget.
- Tracking billable and non-billable hours
Accurately record the time employees spend working on billable projects and the time they spend on non-billable activities such as training and development. By accurately tracking billable and non-billable hours, managers can more easily allocate resources and ensure that projects are delivered on schedule.
5. Love reports
As a manager, it is important to understand what is happening within your team or organization. One way is to regularly review reports and dashboards. Reports and dashboards provide a wealth of information about a business’s past, present, and future. They can be invaluable tools for managers who want to make informed decisions.
A manager can use many different types of reports and dashboards:
- Financial reports provide information about the financial health of a business, including revenue, expenses, and profits.
- Project progress reports provide information about the status of different projects, including milestones, deadlines, and budgets.
- Employee performance reports provide information about the productivity and effectiveness of individual employees.
With this data on hand, a manager can better understand what is going well and what needs improvement within their team or organization. It can be used to identify areas for growth and make informed decisions about allocating resources and addressing any challenges. It is also important for a manager to be proactive in seeking out information and data. This may involve asking for reports from team members or conducting research to gather additional data.
6. Give and receive feedback
Being open to feedback and accepting constructive criticism can help you grow and improve as a leader. This can be difficult, as it requires a certain level of vulnerability and the willingness to confront areas of weakness or deficiency. However, accepting and learning from feedback is essential for effective management.
By seeking feedback from team members, clients, and colleagues, a manager can gain valuable insights into their strengths and weaknesses and learn how to effectively address any challenges or deficiencies. This can lead to personal and professional growth.
Feedback also helps improve communication and relationships within a team or the entire organization. A manager can demonstrate to team members that their input is valued and that they are committed to continuous improvement. This can foster a positive and supportive work environment and encourage team members to be more open and honest in their communication with the manager.
7. Communicate with colleagues, partners, and customers
According to a survey conducted by Interact, 52% of employees think that not having time to meet with employees is one of the communication issues that prevent effective leadership. Effective communication is critical for any manager, as it is essential for building and maintaining relationships with colleagues, partners, and customers. Good communication can help a manager stay informed about what is happening within their team or organization, identify new opportunities and projects, as well as spot and prevent some risks.
There are many different ways that a manager can communicate with colleagues, partners, and customers. One effective approach is to use custom forms or templates for communication, such as email templates or standard meeting agendas. This can help ensure that important information is consistently conveyed and that all necessary parties are kept informed.
Another approach is to use special solutions for customer involvement, such as customer feedback surveys or guest portals. These tools can help managers stay in touch with customers and gather valuable insights about their experiences and needs.
In addition to using specific tools and approaches, it is also important for a manager to seek out opportunities to communicate with colleagues, partners, and customers. This may involve regularly checking in with team members, attending industry events, or reaching out to potential partners or clients.
8. Create space for easy and quick work
Create a work environment that is conducive to productivity. One way is to find solutions that streamline and automate manual and repetitive tasks and eliminate the need for duplicating work. This can help the team focus on high-value tasks and avoid wasting time on unnecessary or redundant activities.
A manager can use many different tools and approaches to create space for easy and quick work. One approach is implementing project management software or collaboration platforms that allow team members to easily collaborate and track progress on tasks and projects. These tools include tagging, commenting, and speed notifications, which help facilitate communication and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Another approach is integrating different tools and systems, such as email, calendars, and customer relationship management software. This can help streamline communication and data management and reduce the need for manual data entry or duplication of work.
By trying to improve in any of the above-mentioned skills, you can better understand your team members and the entire project management process more deeply to make it work for the benefit of your organization. One thing is undoubtful – your success directly depends on the success of your team. Being a good leader is a challenge, but the reward and results you achieve in the end are worth it.