4 Ways to Become a Better Manager

Every workplace has two types of employees. One type performs well, is supportive of others on the team, and keeps below the radar. Another type repeats certain undesirable behaviors over and over if you let them, such as infighting, jealousy, jockeying for position and defending their turf.

The best managers try to motivate and guide their people to meet agreed-upon goals. Procedures, protocols and guidelines are put in place to help keep things fair and organized. Feedback, motivation and direction are given to boost both performance and morale. But at the end of the day, good managers realize that there is no good way to manage people, because people are different. However, since managing people is the key to any business success, you have to try.

There are two things to do. One is to make sure your staff is getting ongoing training, feedback, correction and motivation. Secondly, you must leave your people alone and let them work. The trick is to know when to do which with each person.

Here are some things you can try doing to get more performance out of all of your employees.

1. Establish Best Practices. Try to create models of best performance for employees to learn from and aspire to. You can create goals and performance standards to use as measurement tools. Be fair and consistent in your feelings about each employee's performance.

2. Know Your People. Try to get to know each of your employees so you can find the right way to approach, motivate and correct them. Spend a little time with each of your crewmembers. Spending time together helps solidify teamwork, helps clarify any issues, and helps to make sure you and your people are being accountable to each other.

3. Communicate Better. Have personal conversations with the people on your crew. Allow your people to be honest with you. Spend at least a little personal time with each person every month if possible. Learn to be a good listener. You will learn a lot about how to deal with your people if you hear what they say.

4. Leave Well Enough Alone. Sometimes managers feel that their employees can perform better and produce more, but if employees have found a comfortable and satisfactory balance, it might be best not to disturb. Resist the temptation to over manage your employees.

There are times when your people just need to be left alone to do their jobs. Some days you will work hard to mold people’s behavior and performance when what they really needed was to be left alone to do their jobs. Some days you will leave people alone when what they really needed was to be working with someone. Try to ask yourself each day, "Who needs time from me today?" Then, also ask yourself who needs to be left alone.

About the Author
Tron Jordheim is the CMO of StorageMart, one of the world's largest privately held self-storage companies with locations across the U.S. and Canada. He has helped lead the company to double-digit revenue growth for the last four years by embracing digital marketing and call center support. Jordheim has consulted for companies and spoken at trade events in the U.S., Canada, The U.K., Spain and Mexico. Prior to StorageMart, Jordheim managed one of Culligan Water's top U.S. bottled water franchises. With 40-plus years of experience in sales, marketing and training, he continues to be sought after as a public speaker, sales trainer and consultant. For more information, visit tronjordheim.com.