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HR Talk: The effective manager’s toolkit

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In business, we often seem to focus less on good management, and more on the glamorous and exciting work of leadership. However, managers are responsible for making sure that things are done properly.

By Paul Nyausaru

And while leaders may bring us vision, inspiration and challenge, these things count for nothing without the efficient implementation brought about by good management.

To be a great manager, you must have an extensive set of skills — from planning and delegation to communication and motivation. Because the skill set is so wide, it’s tempting to build skills in the areas of management that you‘re already comfortable with.

But, for your long-term success, it’s wise to analyse your skills in all areas of management — and then to challenge yourself to improve in these areas.

This week we focus on the four critical areas that every manager needs to focus on.

Understand team dynamics. It is critical for every manager to strive for balance in skill sets, personality and viewpoints, and there is no need to be afraid to shaking things up when it is ideal to do so.

Where there is uncertainty that is the time to show you who in your team can thrive in tough times.

Develop key employees. The strength of every manager lies in the quality of subordinates under him/her. A good manager will always be willing to empower promising members in the team.

This normally entails giving the subordinates space to display their knowledge and skills.

Remember that everyone plays different roles in day-to-day life and your subordinates may not be managers at work but they are managers elsewhere.
So always give standout subordinates additional responsibilities and training, while mentoring them along the way.

Delegate and motivate. Trusting vital functions to those key employees helps them develop and frees you up for more important tasks.

Holding on to everything will not help you as a manager. Carefully consider which tasks can de delegated to capable and promising members in your team and remember you remain accountable.

Subordinates get motivated when they realise that their manager trusts them and they are always motivated to prove that they can do it. So when your team scores a success, share the credit too.

Make informed decisions. If you’ve done a good job developing your team, they’ll be there when you need input on major decisions, and you should have developed the kind of relationships so they’ll tell you the truth.

It is therefore important to consult your subordinates when making crucial decisions. This brings in an element of team work and collective responsibility among the team members. When you succeed, you succeed as a team; and when you fail, you fail as team.

Paul Nyausaru is a Training and Development Practitioner. He can be contacted on email pnyausaru@yahoo.co.uk, pnyausaru@gmail.com. Views contained in this article are personal.

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