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Key Skills for the Modern Manager

By Sep Barkhodaee, May 20, 2014
good skills for managers

Maintaining high company morale as well as employee satisfaction depends on good managers, but keeping staff members engaged and focused isn’t easy. In fact, it depends on certain skills that not everyone naturally possesses – but these aspects can be improved through online training software and other professional development initiatives.

Quality leaders and managers are certainly able to think on their feet, logically approach problems and weigh options to make the best possible decision even when under pressure. There is more to being a manager, though, than delegating tasks and decision-making. It’s imperative that higher-ups motivate employees, as that’s the key to ensuring staff performance is at its highest.

Here are some valuable skills that the modern-day manager should hone.

 

Communication
While it may sound obvious, communication skills are vital for managers to maintain strong relationships with employees. The American Management Association explained that this entails a certain emotional intelligence. Managers need to be able to get staff members on board for any given initiative by making a powerful argument or presentation.

According to Business 2 Community, a crucial component of communication is having the right body language. It’s important that workers feel comfortable approaching managers with any question, concern or idea they may have. The news source advised against speaking down to employees. At meetings, it’s better to let staff members take part in the conversation by encouraging them to openly discuss their thoughts or even strategize on the whiteboard so that they stay fully engaged and excited about the company’s goals.

 

Collaboration
At the heart of every efficient business is collaboration – and managers play a key role in encouraging this teamwork-focused mentality. According to the AMA, this means building camaraderie across the organization and helping to facilitate the formation of alliances. Additionally, it’s critical that managers can act as negotiators so that any differences or disagreements can be worked through as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Managers also need to be capable of eliminating any silos that are hindering collaboration, while inspiring team members to constantly share their ideas in a brainstorming session or a meeting. Business 2 Community stressed the importance of leading by example. The source noted that if managers can themselves exhibit a collaborative spirit and make it clear that employees of all levels are working toward the same goal, the staff will feel more unified and capable.

 

Development
It should go without saying that managers need to truly know their staff members to boost their performance and add value to the organization. Time magazine explained that this should start with a strong grasp on the dynamics between workers. By knowing every individual’s strengths and weaknesses, managers can better organize teams for a balance in talents, perspectives and personality traits. However, that doesn’t mean playing it safe at all times – in fact, Time recommended changing teams up occasionally to challenge staff members and put them out of their comfort zones.

The better managers understand their employees, the more effectively they can build a cross-functional team and see a project through. Throughout these efforts, higher-ups should be hyper-aware of indicators that separate standout employees from the rest. Those star performers should be given extra attention, whether additional training, mentorship or expanded responsibilities.


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