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Now revealed: 8 steps to becoming the strong manager your employees need

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March 29, 2012

Contact: Elizabeth Hall, Senior Web Editor
(800) 543-2055  (703) 905-8000

Now Revealed: 8 Steps to Becoming the Strong Manager Your Employees Need

Falls Church, Va. — Recent findings from a Gallup Daily tracking series indicate that 52% of employees are “not engaged” in their work. However, it's also essential to determine whether managers are engaged in managing their employees. In an attempt to “empower” their staffs, too many managers take a completely hands-off approach, leaving employees alone unless they really need help.

According to Business Management Daily’s Senior Web Editor Elizabeth Hall, “Employees look to their immediate bosses to get want they want and need at work. That’s why it’s especially important for managers at all levels to periodically ask themselves the question: Am I engaged in overseeing my employees?”

In his book, It’s Okay to Be the Boss, author Bruce Tulgan suggests eight steps to becoming the strong manager that your employees need. These steps include:

1. Get in the habit: Manage each day. The only alternative to “management by special occasion” is getting in the habit of managing every day. Start by setting aside one hour every day— before anything goes right, wrong or average. Concentrate on certain employees each day. The goal is to make these one-on-one sessions routine, brief, straight and simple—15 minutes should be all you need.

2. Learn to talk to employees like a performance coach. The most effective managers have a way of talking that is both authoritative and sympathetic; both demanding and supportive; both disciplined and patient. This special way of talking looks a lot like performance coaching and includes focusing on specific instances of the employee’s performance and describing it honestly and vividly. 

3. Take it one person at a time. The alternative to “one-size-fits-all management” is to customize your approach to every person. The best way to tune in to individual employees is to continually ask yourself some key questions, such as: “What do I need to talk about with this person? How (and when and where) should I talk with this person?”

4. Make accountability real. Employees need to trust that their bosses will establish fair and accurate processes for tracking their actions and tying their behavior to real consequences. Make sure your employees know they’ll have to explain their actions to you up close and often. Focus on concrete actions within the direct control of the employee. Separate your role as the boss from your personal relationships with employees.

5. Don’t be shy about telling people what to do and how to do it. How are employees supposed to meet—much less exceed—expectations if nobody tells them in clear, simple terms exactly what’s expected of them? Successful managers give concrete directions, goals and deadlines. The best way to engage employees in adopting the best work practices is to convert those practices into standard operating procedures. Give employees step-by-step checklists whenever possible and be sure to follow up frequently.

Following Tulgan’s steps is fundamental to making sure you are “engaged” in managing your employees. If not, this can create a rudderless ship and, as Tulgan calls it, an “under-management epidemic.”

For more information and the full article, which includes Tulgan’s additional three steps to becoming the manager your employees need, visit www.BusinessManagementDaily.com.

Business Management Daily provides plain-English, actionable news, information and tips to busy professionals in the areas of human resources, leadership, management, administrative skills, office technology, employment law, tax and more. Subscribe to our free e-newsletters and download our free reports. Follow us on Twitter at @BizDaily or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.  

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