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The 7 Things Great Managers Do Differently

There's nothing like having a great boss. Employees who feel they are being effectively and fairly managed by their supervisors are more engaged, more productive and are generally happier workers. The converse is also true: employees who feel their supervisor isn't doing a good job managing them don't tend to perform as well and are more apt to leave their current company. So what separates a good manager from a great manager, and is it possible to simply build a better manager?

Below are seven of the actions and traits that set great managers apart from all the others:

Two women having a conversation and taking notes in front of windows
  1. Hiring smart.
    The secret to success in business is surrounding yourself with the right people. Great managers understand the importance of being able to trust and be confident in their employees' abilities to perform their jobs well, so they go the extra mile to ensure every new addition to the team is the best possible candidate.
  2. Getting to know their people.
    Great supervisors recognize that in order to effectively manage people, they first need to take the time to get to know their employees as people, learn what their strengths and weaknesses are, find out what each person needs in terms of management style, etc. Understanding what makes their team members "tick" allows great managers to plan ahead and assign out tasks and projects according to who they know will do the best job. This can be particularly important for teams or departments that frequently work in groups or pairs.
  3. Setting a positive tone.
    Attitudes are contagious, and the attitude or demeanor of a manager often significantly influences that of the entire team. Great managers are extra careful not to convey any negativity they are feeling about a particular project or assignment to their people.
  4. Keeping the lines of communication flowing.
    Communication is key to the success of any group. Employees want to feel that they have a voice when it comes to their work or work environment, and it's important for every worker to feel comfortable to talk openly and honestly with management. Great managers go to great lengths to make sure their team members feel comfortable voicing their opinions or concerns.
  5. Getting down in the trenches when needed.
    It's an inevitability of business that every once in a while, despite everyone's best efforts, things will go wrong. An important piece of machinery that automates production will break; a key employee may call in sick on your busiest day; a big customer will get upset about something - there's no shortage of possible problems. These moments of crisis truly separate the great from the mediocre. In these situations, great managers will seamlessly step in and work right alongside their employees to help keep things running smoothly, immediately earning the respect of their employees.
  6. Giving credit where credit is due.
    Almost equally as important as having a voice, employees also want to feel valued by their employer. After all, if no one is noticing when you go above and beyond and it doesn't seem to be making a difference, there's no real incentive to do so. Great managers make sure recognize and show their appreciation for their employees, both on an individual level and as a team.
  7. Standing by their team.
    Nobody likes being thrown under the bus, and it can feel especially traitorous when a manager does it to their employees. Employees who don't feel like their manager will back them up have no reason to speak up or be innovative, and instead will simply adhere to the status quo. Great managers have the trust of their people, and will take ultimately take responsibility for their own mistakes or errors that are the result of poor management and guidance.
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Knowing what makes someone a great manager is certainly interesting, but is it really relevant to the average business owner? Absolutely. A Gallup report from 2014 found that only 10 percent of people has the innate capabilities to effectively manage people to a degree that significantly impacts company performance, while only an additional two out of every 10 people could be trained to become high-performing managers. Combined, these two types of managers were found to have contributed to about a 48 percent increase in profit to their companies than the average manager.

If only 30 percent of people are capable of being great managers, most of whom will require significant investment in employee training to do so, that means identifying a truly great manager is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. This may account for why Gallup found that companies fail to hire the right candidate for a managerial position an overwhelming 82 percent of the time. Not an encouraging thought for businesses currently recruiting for an open manager or supervisor position.

If your company has struggled as a result of poor management or an inability to attract highly effective managers, it might be time to bring in an expert. G&A Partners offers the human resources expertise needed to ensure your organization has the tools and resources to both hire and train effective managers and employees. Learn how G&A can help you build a more effective team that actively contributes to your bottom line by calling 866-634-6713 to speak with an expert or contact us to schedule your free business consultation.

About G&A

G&A Partners is a leading professional employer organization (PEO) that offers world-class HR services and a team of experts who can help you navigate employment issues, safety initiatives, and more—during (and after) the pandemic. To learn more, schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable business advisors.