Every great team is led by a great leader. Managing in today’s workplace is the most important job. Managers set the tone for the entire office. Every strong manager is always looking for ways to improve their leadership and office environment. The Harvard Business Review recently published an article about characteristics of a strong leader. Professor Sydney Finklestein, who teaches business management at Dartmouth College and hosts the podcast The Syndcast, conducted research into the best management practices and released a few tips on how to lead an office in a healthy and effective manner.
Treat each team member different and take different approaches based on who they are. Finklestein says that an effective leader “manages individuals, not teams,” meaning that every employee needs a different approach. As a manager, you cannot expect every employee to react the same way to whatever unfolds in the office, so it is important for managers to understand their employees as people and know their individual strengths and weaknesses.
Bring meaning to their work. Every employee wants to know how their work is meaningful to others and so it is up to the manager to continue to provide meaning. Finklestein says the meaning is not done through “incentives or bonuses” but instead through “inspiring them with a vision, setting challenging goals, and pumping up their confidence so they believe that they will win.” Managers have an idea of how their work is helping others and it is important to keep the employees in touch with this vision.
Offer feedback and clear communication. Clear communication is essential to any successful team but especially for managers. In order for employees to assess their work and place on your team, feedback from managers is critical. Employees need to know if what they are doing is correct or incorrect and why. Both positive and negative feedback from managers provide employees the opportunity to understand their own mistakes and accomplishments.