Good management plays a crucial role in employee retention and satisfaction.
Bad bosses are often the main reason employees leave a position. Similarly, a great boss can motivate employees to want to come to work every day, be productive, and enjoy what they do. How can you become a leader that people want to follow instead of have to follow? By building the skillset to get the most out of your employees.
Here are five skills that will help you become a more effective leader:
1. Clear and effective communication.
A good manager must communicate effectively in person, print, email, and virtual video platforms. IT employees often work remotely. As technology evolves, so must communication skills. Clear communication increases the chance your employees will be able to successfully complete their assigned tasks and is crucial when discussing things like:
- Changes in strategy
- Team objectives
- Someone leaving the team
You’ll get the most out of your employees when everyone works together. However, teams are made up of individuals with unique strengths, weaknesses, communication styles, and motivations. Working together isn’t always easy, especially on complex IT projects. A good manager:
- Gets to know each team member and what they need to be successful
- Fosters relationships within the team
- Leverages employees’ strengths to reach the team’s objectives
- Understands that the best way to succeed is by developing the team as a whole
- Adopts a coaching mentality to develop skills within the team
- Connects the work done by individuals to the larger team goals of the company
3. Delivering and receiving feedback.
Often a manager will need to correct errors. Mistakes are great teachers when the feedback is delivered in a positive and constructive manner. Giving the feedback in a timely, specific, and empathetic way helps assure the best reception. The best managers are also open to receiving feedback. No one is perfect. If the manager expects the employees to improve in their roles, they must also be willing to level up their own work performance, especially in the constantly evolving world of technology
Employees who feel that their manager cares about them as a person, as well as an employee, are happier and more productive. The workforce has been through a lot during the pandemic, and managers need to remain cognizant that many are still recovering. Taking the time to connect with team members and understand what they are going through will help you build trust throughout the team. Check-in with your remote IT workers and make sure they feel connected and supported.
Productivity is essential for reaching goals, and the team will inevitably hit some production speed bumps along the way. Great managers guide their teams through difficulty using high-level strategic thinking, not by micromanaging. Learn to ask the questions that will help your software architects, network engineers, and other IT specialists get to the root of the problem and solve it themselves, hopefully creating fewer speed bumps in the future.