Managers are key contributors in an organization. They have many responsibilities, but here are 5 responsibilities that effective managers pay close attention to:
- Carry out assigned duties: Know and understand what is expected of you from your boss. That means asking questions, checking in, and making sure you are aligned with his/her priorities at all times.
- Keep your manager informed: There’s nothing worse than being blind sighted by someone who seems to know more about what is going on in your department than you do. Make sure you do not put your boss in that position. Let him/her know if something is going wrong and how you intend to handle it. If you’re not sure, ask to brainstorm together for possible solutions.
- Build employee morale: If your people are disgruntled, you need to address it immediately. One bad apple does spoil the whole bunch. It’s the manager’s responsibility to monitor what is going on in their department, including at the water cooler. If you hear something negative, don’t ignore it and hope it will blow over. Interject yourself. Get to the bottom of it and let the negative person know, that doesn’t fly with you. If they are uncomfortable or know they will be called out for negative behavior, it is less likely they will continue.
- Give clear instructions: Communication is a 2 way street. When you give a directive, you are responsible to make sure people really understand what you expect. Of course it’s clear to you; it’s in your brain. But everyone else doesn’t have the same brain. Instead of asking closed questions like, “You got it?” or “Any questions?” try open ended questions like, “So where do you think you’re going to start on this?” Or “What obstacles do you anticipate that might interfere with us completing this on time?” People tend to answer closed ended questions with the yes or no they think you are looking for. You really have no idea whether or not they understood and if you are going to get the results you want.
- Cooperate with other departments: Successful managers play nice in the sandbox, even if there’s a bratty kid in there. Focus on the issues and results you want, while keeping in mind that others have responsibilities and goals as well. Listen actively. Find the common ground. Work as a team.
Develop your Manager’s Toolbox by attending one of our public training classes!