Managing people is one of the most difficult jobs you can have. To make your team successful, everyone needs to be swimming in the same direction together.
Answer these 10 questions to see how effective you are as a manger, and take steps to improve:
1. How do you set goals?
A team can’t succeed if they don’t have clear goals to move towards. As a manager, one of your primary roles is to collaborate with your team to set measurable, attainable goals. Everyone on the team needs to understand what the goals are and their role in achieving them. Have you defined clear goals for each week and quarter, and does your team understand what they are?
2. How do you communicate?
Communication is the most important job of a manager. You need to communicate big picture strategy, goals, tasks and frequent feedback to each member of your team. Do you ensure that each employee is aligned on what your goals are, and how you will measure success? Do you communicate verbally in meetings and in writing with status updates?
3. How do you run meetings?
Meetings can be long, boring and ineffective if not used properly. The key to successful meetings is to only have them for discussion and decision making, never status updates. The dreaded “update meeting” involves everyone sharing what they are working on. This should always be done in writing using weekly reports. Do you avoid update meetings?
4. How do you give feedback?
The only way for your team to improve is if they receive valuable feedback. As a manager, you need to dedicate time to reviewing your team’s work and sharing both praise and constructive criticism. This can be done during 1-1 meetings with each employee and by responding to their weekly reports. Do you hold regular 1-1s and share frequent feedback?
5. How do you share progress?
Keeping the team transparent on progress made towards achieving goals motivates everyone to push harder. Your role as a good manager is to summarize and share progress regularly, highlighting wins and explaining how the team can correct mistakes. Are you transparent with your team, and do they understand progress being made?
6. How do you hold people accountable?
Everyone must be held accountable to deliver the results they committed to when you planned goals. In your weekly meetings and status updates, each team member should outline what they are going to work on the following week. Does your team do what they say they are going to do?
7. How do you coach?
Employees do not want to be given orders. Instead, you need to provide guidance as a coach, making suggestions and showing your team members the best way to accomplish goals. Good managers often consider themselves “players and coaches,” where you may be doing some of the same work that you ask of your employees. Are you a player and coach?
8. How do you structure advancement?
Most people are eager to progress in their careers and take on more responsibility. Part of your role as a good manager is to consider the path for each employee, and mentor them to build the skills necessary to grow. Have you created a progression plan for each employee, outlining their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement order to advance?
9. How do you plan?
A high performing team relies on the manager to document a clear plan for what the team needs to achieve. This includes your goals, concerns, projects and tasks. If this plan isn’t in writing, it will be difficult to stick to it. It’s ok if the plan changes, as long as it’s discussed. Do you have a clear plan for this month?
10. How do you document process?
Good teams follow processes to be efficient and avoid mistakes. When a new employee joins your team, she will not know the best process to follow. You should write down detailed processes for each key activity your team does. This makes it easier to onboard new employees. Are your processes written down?
If you can answer a strong “yes” to each of these 10 questions, you will be on the way to being a good manager!