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5 Management Lessons Your Won’t Learn At Business


Being a manager requires a lot of skills. Along with building and maintaining a workforce, you also have to keep your employees motivated and interested, deal with complex ethical or monetary issues and help improve productivity in your office. Although business school can equip you with some of the skills necessary to be an effective manager, it won’t give you everything you need to know. Some information comes on the job, with time and nothing else. But you can also look to other managers to see what they’re doing and learn lessons from them. Or, you can look at these five management lessons you won’t learn in business school.

1. Balance a professional and friendly relationship

You want to develop a friendly relationship with your employees. You do. Although remaining an aloof boss may seem like the best professional response, being unwilling to become at least somewhat comfortable with your employees means they won’t be comfortable with you - and that can affect their willingness to bring forward problems they’re facing or ideas they can have to improve your company. Building a rapport with your employees will help them open up, feel more comfortable in the office and feel more comfortable working with you. Although you shouldn’t necessarily invite the employee over for a weekend beach trip, you should take the time to get to know your employees - take them out to lunch as a group or tell them about something you plan on doing this weekend.

2. Seek volunteers rather than forcing unwanted assignments

Delegating tasks is an important skill as a leader, and many times you’re often told that delegating is a difficult and onerous task that just must be done, which assumes that you have to convince your employees to accept the task. But you don’t necessarily have to. Seeking volunteers can give you an opportunity to learn which employees are interested in bettering themselves, which employees have an interest in a particular target and which employees have a skill they haven’t been able to use before. Don’t be afraid to give your employees a chance to pick up assignments themselves.

3. Don’t string a bad employee along

If you and your employee both know they’re not doing well in their position, you should spend some time trying to train them - but there’s a limit. If after a few weeks or months of efforts haven’t stuck, it’s time to cut that employee loose. Most managers are trained to learn that replacing an employee is expensive, but the truth is keeping a bad one is expensive too. It costs you time, effort and productivity. If you need to fire an employee, do it quickly and without emotion, at the end of the day.

4. Address legacy employee problems

One issue that managers may feel unequipped to deal with is addressing legacy employees. These are employees who’ve been with the company for a long time, possibly through a changing industry, who may have seen job expectations and requirements change around them. Although some long-time employees are able to adapt to the changes in a particular business, not all are, and that’s where it gets sticky for managers. Often these legacy employees are older, people who are near retirement or see it on the horizon. It may feel responsible to keep them on board till they retire out of loyalty, but oftentimes the right thing to do is directly address the problems with your employee. Tell them what tasks they must be able to do, and offer support to help them learn those tasks or gently cut them loose.

5. Invest in your top performers

Although you should spend time training and working with lower level performers, you should also be sure not to let your top performers fall to the wayside. They want to know their boss notices and appreciates their hard work - if not, they will jump ship and join a competitor. If you have top performers in your office, you need to make sure you keep them happy with fair raises, independence and opportunities for advancement. Don’t let your best workers get poached - keep them happy and loyal to your business.

Running a business is hard, and managing a team can feel impossible. Be sure you think about how your employee fits into the big picture, how your management style affects them and what you can do to improve it.

One Response

  1. I have struggled big time
    I have struggled big time with the first pointer during my first few month of leading a team of Digital Marketers, at times I felt that I was going aloof and sitting with them like an alien who’s more keen on achieving team’s objectives and nothing else. But with the passage of time I learned this that there should be a friendly coordination between the subordinates and the boss to cater the business effectively.

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