Productive and trusting relationships between managers and employees are one of the major keys to the success of your software company. Insufficient management or negative manager-employee relationships can lead to a loss of motivation, enthusiasm, productivity, and general company morale. As a manager, you’re responsible not just for the outputs of the employees you manage but supporting and guiding them as well. So, what makes a great manager? Here are a few tips!
1. Set up weekly one-on-ones
Part of what makes a great manager is ongoing and effective communication. Weekly one-on-ones between managers and their employees are essential in making sure everyone is on the same page. Having established check-ins allows for regular project updates, feedback sessions, and time to chat. Additionally, it ensures employees have an established time and place to bring up any concerns or comments they may have. On the other hand, if they’re forced to wait for their review every 6 months, then issues can be left unresolved for long periods of time. Weekly one-on-ones ensure you won’t be surprised when a project is delayed, an employee is unhappy, or anything else that naturally comes up while working at a startup.
2. Strive for open communication
A manager-employee relationship is only effective when there’s a certain degree of trust between the two. One of the most important things you can do as a manager is making sure your employee feels as though they can come to you with any questions, comments, or concerns they have. Similarly, your employee needs to see that they can count on you, and that you’ll stick up for them when you need to. Trust goes both ways – be open and transparent with your employee, and that will pave the way for honesty in return.
3. Provide immediate feedback
What makes a great manager isn’t just the style of communication you use, but also the frequency. If you’re great at giving your employees feedback, but you aren’t proactive about when and how you do it, then you’re not going to get the results you may want. Instead, you should have regularly scheduled opportunities to touch base with everyone on your team. Use your weekly one-on-ones to provide ongoing feedback to them, and if a situation arises that necessitates further back and forth, don’t be hesitant to schedule extra time. The goal should be to make sure your employees are continuously improving, rather than only talking about improvements twice a year. Providing ongoing feedback is not only what makes a great manager, but it can also help to create a more efficient workplace, which benefits everyone in the end.
4. Make time for the good
While it’s of course important to provide constructive criticism, so that your company is constantly on an upward trajectory, it’s important to remember that this is only have of the equation. Providing constructive and helpful criticism is what makes a good manager, but what makes a great manager is the ability to express gratitude and praise as well. Something as simple as saying a quick “Thanks!” or “Great job!” can go a long way in improving company morale and making your employees feel more appreciated and fulfilled with their duties. Balancing feedback and praise is important, so that your employee is not just hearing what they need to improve upon. They hear the good too.
Conclusion – What Makes a Great Manager?
When thinking about what makes a great manager, it’s important to keep a few key points of consideration in mind. First, ensure you set up weekly opportunities to speak with your employees. And during those meetings, establish an ongoing sense of trust and honesty. Make sure you provide them with timely and relevant feedback, but don’t forget to include some praise, too. Once you master these four strategies, you’ll be on your way to becoming a more effective leader in no time.