In an age where technologies evolve rapidly and the professional landscape across sectors shifts constantly, stronger leadership is essential.
Today’s workforce wants to feel engaged, valued, secure, and that their personal values are being addressed – strong management will ensure all of these essential needs are met on a sustainable basis.
According to studies from the O.C Tanner Learning Group, 79% of employees leave their job due to a lack of appreciation. That said, making your employees feel valued is paramount. A further study revealed that employees who feel their voices are being heard at work are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform to the best of their abilities.
Knowing how to lead and inspire your staff will boost engagement and increase productivity.
But, how can you be or become a ‘great manager’ in the modern age?
In the following, we explore the key ingredients to long term managerial success.
Regardless of role or department, your employees thrive on feedback. Not only will providing regular feedback based on individual or team performance show that you’re engaged in your employees’ work, but it will also motivate them to perform better.
While offering praise and sharing positive feedback is essential, a good manager will always tell their team when they’ve made a mistake or have underperformed as this will help your employees develop their skills.
If you find it difficult to share negative or corrective feedback, you could use the Plussing technique, a method developed by media giant and Walt Disney production company, Pixar.
The full framework of Plussing works in three definitive steps, but here’s a practical example for reference: An animator working on Toy Story Four sends over sketches for a scene she’s been working on with the director. Rather than feeding back in a negative way, the director might say something akin to, “I like Buzz’s face shape, but could we change the expression of his eyes to suit the emotional content of the scene?”
Constructive, practical, and positive.
Expanding on the importance of providing regular feedback, going tête-à-tête with your employees and conversing with them on a one-to-one basis is one of the most important elements of good management. If you offer every individual in your team a chance to sit down with you face-to-face and discuss any thoughts, feelings, ideas or concerns, you will foster trust while gathering the data you need to make improvements that will ultimately boost staff engagement.
Regular one-to-one meetings are also excellent for providing detailed feedback, setting your employees’ goals, milestones and incentives, discussing sensitive issues or mapping out potential training & development opportunities.
Employees that feel ignored or overlooked by their manager are twice as likely to feel disengaged and become less productive. This discovery alone highlights the importance of regular one-to-one follow ups.
At their core, personal employee meetings are about listening. That said, when you do sit down with an individual one-to-one, you should focus on making the meeting conversational giving them an equal opportunity to speak and express themselves.
Schedule regular one-to-one meetings as well as post-project follow ups with your employees, and you’ll become a more respected, more trustworthy, and more motivational manager.
One of the world’s leading brand Netflix owes a significant portion of its success to its talent management processes. The brand’s employee performance management outlook is based on the notion, ‘context not control.’
Within this ecosystem, managers create an open forum for self-expression to let their employees know they’re listening, while providing regular feedback as opposed to annual reviews.
Speaking on the subject, co-author of the Netflix culture doc Patty McCord said:
If you talk simply and honestly about performance on a regular basis, you can get good results – probably better ones than a company that grades everyone on a five-point scale.
At Netflix, management takes full responsibility for its employees mistakes, offering feedback when necessary, coaching individuals to improve their performance, and providing their employees lifelong learning opportunities to help them thrive in an ever-evolving digital age. All of these initiatives translate to improved internal communication and increased employee cohesion.
If one cog in the wheel is weak it’s up to you as a manager to fix it by offering the perfect mix of mentorship and leadership – and by placing people over processes, you stand to succeed as a manager.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou, iconic American poet and civil rights activist
By being bold enough to provide constructive criticism, giving your employees the confidence to express themselves, offering opportunities, and showcasing a commitment to mentorship, managerial success will be yours for the taking.
At Orbium, we believe that everybody should feel valued – and that the best managers coach their teams both as individuals and as a whole. To find out more about us and what we do, explore our company story.