Updated: Mar 2
What distinguishes good managers from great managers? That can be a difficult question to answer. However, what truly distinguishes a great manager is their willingness to go above and beyond for their team. Getting to this point is not easy. It requires a lot of work and commitment to the team, but there are most certainly ways to upgrade your position from a good manager to a great manager. If this sounds like the article for you, keep reading to learn more about some of our tips and tricks!
The Good Manager
First let’s start with the good manager. Good managers have well-established relationships within their company and team. Good managers also maintain a good structure within their team formations. Good managers are very much important to the flow and productivity of a team. According to McKinsey & Company, healthy manager-employee relationships have a higher likelihood of fostering higher job satisfaction experienced among employees.
Another quality of good managers is that they maintain fairness among employees at the office. This means that work is delegated fairly between teams and individuals. This also once again helps maintain a healthy workplace setting and minimize any conflicts surrounding work delegation.
Good managers are also proactive in maintaining one-on-one meetings with their employees. Managers care about the growth and development of their employees and want to help them achieve their potential. That is why maintaining one-on-one meetings is critical to ensuring employees are receiving all the mentorship and guidance that they need along their career paths. However, how can managers truly go above and beyond?
The Great Manager
One quality of a great manager is that they truly pay attention to their team along with their strengths and weaknesses. Great managers are aware of talent and try to delegate tasks to members on their team that will allow them to fully utilize their strengths and talents best. This helps maintain and lift morale in the workplace and reduce turnover.
Great managers also try to avoid actions that may drive employees away from the organization. The Harris Poll for Yoh reported, after surveying 1,043 employees, determined factors that would cause employees to leave an organization:
Fatigued and burnt out employees → 42%
Favouritism and bias toward certain employees → 40%
Employee gossip → 39%
Mistreatment of employees with lower positions → 53%
These factors can negatively impact an employees’ motivation not only towards their own work tasks but also toward the organization. That is why it is important for managers to frequently be aware of the implications their actions have on their team. Instead, great managers look for ways to help enhance employees’ skills and careers. Instead of assigning roles that do not highlight and hone a team member’s skills, great managers try to cater to their employees and give them roles that are well-suited to their abilities. Giving people specialized job tasks also increases interdependence, and overall team bonds.
Another thing that great managers do? They have expansive networks throughout their company and beyond. Why is this an important asset for managers to have? According to HBR, it has been shown that employee-manager engagement is up to 5% higher when managers maintain large and well-connected networks. In a reversed situation where employees are the ones with the larger network, this can create negative implications (Fuller & Shikaloff). Employees that have proportionately larger networks than their manager may not be as engaged or stimulated to work as their counterparts whose managers have large networks as well (Fuller & Shikaloff).
Especially during the pandemic, another crucial quality for managers to have is empathy and openness toward their employees. Many employees had to adjust accordingly during the pandemic, and some struggled as a result. That is why it is even more important for managers to be aware of their employees' needs and show compassion, as it will show that management is there for them in difficult times. Doing so has shown to have positive long-term effects. For instance, according to research, the more compassionate employers are towards their employees, the more loyal they are likely to be toward the manager and the company.
Filling The Gap Between Good & Great
Sometimes it can be difficult to draw the line between the activities of good and great managers, but generally, there are certain characteristics you should look out for that can help aid in improvement.
For one thing, it is important to continually work on fostering a sense of openness and positivity in the workplace. When people feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas, this makes for a better work environment and can also lead to more innovation. Secondly, managers must self-evaluate themselves. How can you best lead the team? How can you best utilize your strengths? These are only some of the questions that one can consider when evaluating their own skills and abilities. Once this is accomplished, this leads good managers one step closer to becoming a great manager.
Buckingham, M. (2005, March). "What Great Managers Do". Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://hbr.org/2005/03/what-great-managers-do
Fuller, R. & Shikaloff, N. (2016, December 14). "What Great Managers Do Daily". Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://hbr.org/2016/12/what-great-managers-do-daily
McKinsey. "Being a good boss isn't easy -- here's how to get better". Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/the-organization-blog/being-a-good-boss-isnt-easy-heres-how-to-get-better
Meinert, D. (2019, May 30). "Building A Better Boss". Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/summer2019/pages/building-a-better-boss.aspx