Managers make the difference. Middle managers especially play a crucial role in employee engagement and performance. However, many managers lack proper preparation for their role, and companies often fail to invest in robust leadership training. Great managers understand that their actions have a direct impact on their team’s success. In particular, great managers improve their team through four daily actions.
In this article, we will explore four things that great managers do daily to separate themselves from poor bosses. By implementing these daily practices, they not only improve team performance and development but also create a positive and trusting work environment.
1. Run Smooth Meetings
The first thing great leaders do daily is run smooth meetings. And whether they’re in meetings daily or just planning future meetings, great managers know that meetings can either be a waste of time or a productive forum for collaboration. They ensure that meetings run smoothly by having a clear purpose, inviting the right people, and having a plan of action.
Having a clear purpose for each meeting is essential. It helps everyone stay focused and ensures that the meeting is not just a gathering without any tangible outcomes. Great managers also invite the relevant people based on the meeting’s purpose. This ensures that the right expertise and perspectives are present in the room.
Furthermore, great managers create a plan of action for each meeting. They outline specific topics to be discussed and attach relevant questions to guide the conversation. This helps keep the meeting on track and ensures that all necessary points are addressed.
2. Give Fair Feedback
The second thing great managers do daily is give fair feedback. Great managers understand the importance of providing fair feedback to their employees. They know that feedback should be proportionate to employees’ actual performance and should balance praise and constructive criticism.
When giving feedback, great managers avoid fixating on areas that need improvement and instead acknowledge employees’ strengths. They understand that recognizing and appreciating employees’ accomplishments motivates them to continue performing at their best.
Moreover, great managers maintain a proper proportion of praise and constructive criticism based on performance. They provide specific examples to support their feedback and offer guidance on how employees can further enhance their skills or address any areas of improvement.
3. Check Capacity
The third thing great managers do daily is check their team’s capacity. Great managers understand the importance of checking the work capacity of individuals and the team as a whole. They know that overloading employees can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. Regularly assessing capacity is crucial to ensure a healthy work-life balance and optimal performance.
Great managers check individuals’ energy levels and offer support if needed. They are attentive to signs of stress or exhaustion and provide resources or assistance to help employees manage their workload effectively.
In addition, great managers assess the team’s commitments and goals to avoid overloading. They ensure that the workload is distributed evenly and that everyone has the necessary resources and support to accomplish their tasks.
Holding regular huddles is another practice great managers adopt to check capacity. These huddles provide an opportunity to discuss the team’s focus, review completed tasks, and identify areas where assistance may be required.
4. Build Trust
The fourth thing great managers do daily is build trust on their team. Great managers understand that trust is the foundation of a successful team. They prioritize building trust by creating a sense of psychological safety and fostering a culture of trust and vulnerability.
Encouraging open communication and diverse perspectives is a key aspect of building trust. Great managers create an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns, and feedback without fear of judgment or reprisal.
Great managers also celebrate failures and extract lessons for the whole team. They understand that failure is an opportunity for growth and learning. By openly discussing failures and encouraging team members to share their experiences, great managers create a culture that values continuous improvement.
Furthermore, great managers reciprocate trust by being vulnerable and responsive to employees’ needs. They actively listen to their team members, provide support when needed, and ensure that everyone feels valued and respected.
Great managers play a vital role in driving employee engagement and performance. By running smooth meetings, giving fair feedback, checking capacity, and building trust, they create an environment where employees can thrive and contribute their best work ever.
About the author
David Burkus is an organizational psychologist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of five books on leadership and teamwork.