5 ways you can help new managers to become better leaders

Many employees are promoted to a management position for their strength and ability to solve problems as well as improve task efficiencies. However, 45 per cent of managers report never receiving formal management training to lead others and improve team efficiency or morale. Consequently, managers then lead from a place of what they know and how their own managers have led them. As a result, they continue archaic leadership practices that focus solely on hard skills and organizational output rather than building strong relationships and creating an inclusive and engaging team environment.

Here are five ways you can help new managers become better leaders to create an organization that thrives.

Learn to trust through delegating

Managers often become the bottleneck of their team because they lack the trust to delegate tasks to their employees. More often than not, managers hold their team back with the mindset that they believe they can perform tasks better or it would take longer to train someone else how to do it. Therefore, they keep employees from taking on more responsibility. As a result, employees never grow to their fullest potential and the team is held back.

In order for managers to grow into leaders, they need to help their team flourish by being able to trust in their ability to work independently and carry out more responsibility. Doing so has various benefits such as boosted confidence, increased performance and further strengthening skills, to name a few.

Delegating is not only a great way to free up time to focus more on leading employees, but it also allows employees to find new and more efficient ways of doing things. While some managers may fear being outperformed by their own employees, Blake Sutton, senior electrical and software engineer at Electrical Knowledge, said “at the end of the day, a manager makes the difficult decisions that few people would like to make, and does so in a way that will lead to overall company growth, as well as setting an example for every other member of the team.” A team is only as strong as the weakest team member.

Build health leadership habits that employees copy

Developing leadership skills means being self aware that there’s always room for improvement. There are a variety of ways to invest in leadership development such as working with a coach, attending conferences and seminars, getting certified, finding a mentor or reading development books, to name a few. It’s worth asking a direct manager or human resources to see what they currently offer in terms of investing in management development. Some companies offer a stipend while others work with a leadership coach.

Regardless if a company invests in one’s development, managers should take advantage of free or low cost learning opportunities. Likewise, if their own manager or someone in the company is someone they look up to in terms of embodying leadership skills, they should lean on them to further develop and build healthy leadership habits.

Lead by example by dismantling the hierarchy

Managers emulate what they see from their direct manager. Since 45 per cent of managers never receive formal leadership training, they end up mimicking their current and past managers. This becomes problematic especially if they’ve only had managers that were outcome focused and exhibited toxic behaviors.

To help a manager become a better leader, it’s your responsibility to lead by example and show them what that means. Some ways of doing this include jumping in and doing the work of an associate to help out the team, eliminating favoritism to create an inclusive team environment and consistently communicating openly with the team as well as seeking and delivering feedback. It’s important to show employees you live up to your open-door policy by actively and frequently communicating that.

Understand the art of communication

Understanding and embracing the art of communication is the true language of leadership. Communication isn’t just about speaking, it’s also about listening and taking action. It’s nearly impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator and listener. Leaders are those who take the time to effectively communicate and break down high level information into digestible and actionable tasks.

Communication should happen on a consistent basis. This should be in the form of one-on-one meetings, all-hands company meetings and check-in’s. Once in a while, employees will have a lack of motivation towards their work. As the manager, part of your job is to bring that back up by encouraging and guiding them as well as recognizing their contributions.

Make recognition a goal

There are numerous benefits to recognizing excellent work with the most obvious impact being increased employee engagement. When employees are acknowledged for their contributions and performance, they’re more inclined to want to keep repeating that behavior. Therefore, it’s crucial to treat employees as a valued member of the team rather than just a number. David Weingot, owner of DMAC Security, said, “no matter how big or small those wins are, recognize them. That shows that you value each and everyone greatly, which will encourage them to do better always. Overall, that makes you a better leader.”

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