13 Key Ways Organizations Can Improve Their Managers’ Effectiveness

13 Key Ways Organizations Can Improve Their Managers’ Effectiveness

Great managers are critical to the success of an organization. These managers sometimes step into the role already possessing innate traits and experiences that will help them succeed as leaders, but management as a skill should also be taught.

If an organization builds systems to develop and shape the skills of their talent on an ongoing basis, leadership decreases the chances of creating and perpetuating bad management behaviors that negatively impact the culture and operations of the business.

To help leaders ensure managers are performing at their best, 13 Newsweek Expert Forum members share specific actions they can take to increase the effectiveness of their managers.

1. Hire Smart

It starts with smart hiring. You can minimize the chances of hiring a bad manager and greatly increase the odds of hiring a great manager by setting up a multistage interview process. It should involve several several team members and have the ultimate goal of hiring the best managers. Post-hire, a cadence of regular performance evaluations can improve manager effectiveness long term. – James Jones, Bump

2. Conduct Regular Performance Reviews

Evaluating the performance and input of managers should be considered learning opportunities for them to purposefully improve their effectiveness. This is particularly true for toxic managers who do not have a good reputation in the workplace. Regular performance evaluations can help them understand their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the perceptions of their coworkers. – Dr. Kira Graves, Kira Graves Consulting

3. Invest in Development Opportunities

Managers must be honest about their professional development and open to feedback. Often, managers and senior-level leadership think they have arrived and don’t invest in learning more about themselves and their leadership style to ensure they meet the needs of the organization and their team. Getting a 360 evaluation can be valuable for understanding the areas that need to be improved. – LaKesha Womack, Womack Consulting Group

4. Embrace a Learner-Centered Approach

Every person is unique in their strengths, skills and how they learn. While we may have standards in manager effectiveness that our organizations require, how we build and hone those strengths in our managers needs to vary. Embracing a learner-centered approach to customizing training based on an individual manager and aligning formats of knowledge acquisition and skills application to each manager is key. – Lowell Aplebaum, Vista Cova

5. Ensure Ongoing Proper Support

Being a manager is a challenging but extremely valuable position. It often requires balancing the needs of the people one manages with the requirements of implementing leadership’s vision. It’s critical to ensure that managers are given sufficient training and education on an ongoing basis so they have the tools to meet the challenges of their role effectively. – Israel Tannenbaum, Withum

6. Create a Value-Aligned Workplace Culture

Create a culture that does not reward bad actors. Many times, we see bad actors rewarded for temporary results. It’s hard to think long term when the task has immediate results. In the long run, the effects of poor management will plague an organization, impacting results. Train and reward those who serve your purpose, drive results and have the characteristics that represent your values. – Uriel Saenz, THE US LIFESTYLE GROUP LLC

7. Cultivate Trust

To foster great management and effective teams, organization leaders must value and seek to promote trust. Leaders must recognize that with trust comes a willingness to let people try new ideas and accept mistakes. To truly accept and use critical feedback for growth, managers need to be able to trust that challenges will be met by their supervisors with understanding and assistance. – Kylie Dotson-Blake, National Board for Certified Counselors

8. Build a Management Training Program

Managers need training, as management is a skill like anything else and shouldn’t be assumed. All new managers should take part in a manager training program that reflects the culture of the organization. The culture of the organization is embodied by management and their daily decisions. Managers should also be trained to manage in a way that aligns the corporate values and culture. – Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital

9. Enable Ownership

For middle managers to be successful, they have to own that process. We all feel greater ownership of the things we help to create. Managers must commit to innovation in order to develop themselves and to reflect on what they need in order to be successful. When senior executives offer help, managers need to be able to clearly articulate the kind of training and support that will enable success. – Karen Mangia, Salesforce

10. Establish Consistency

There must be consistency in the organization’s philosophy and practice of leadership. This starts with the vetting of candidates before selection to learn their predisposition to the role, followed by establishing clear expectations for growth in the position. – Daniel Lutz, Ph.D., Lutz Globe LLC – Global Leadership of Business and Education

11. Set Expectations

It’s important that your company culture is well-defined and crystalized in language so managers know what the brand values are. If you can translate these values into measurable actions or behaviors, that’s even better. This way, if a manager steps outside of the company’s culture and values, there are clear guidelines in place to point it out and, hopefully, correct or improve their behavior. – April White, Trust Relations

12. Prioritize Investments into Employees

A manager’s effectiveness depends partly on their ability to uplift, listen to and create opportunities for their teammates to shine. It has been demonstrated that employees who feel valued show higher productivity—a testament to the power of empowering our teams. Let’s prioritize treating our employees well as a worthy investment and making it a hallmark of our company culture. – Aaron Sherinian, Deseret Management Corporation

13. Communicate Well

Communication and listening are critical. There are several benefits of communicating well, but good communication ensures that the vision and strategy are known across all levels of the business. If you want your employees to listen to you, you need to listen to them. Effective managers are able to take feedback as well, whether positive or negative. – Brendan P. Keegan, Merchants Fleet

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