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8 Traits of Effective Managers

 8 Traits of Effective Managers

Leadership & Management


Great managers do more than delegate tasks and help prioritize employees’ time. Great managers embody the company culture, represent reward and recognition, and work to distil pertinent information – while also diminishing the noise – so employees are able to do their jobs.

Effective management is a culmination of these behaviors, and more. Here are some skills and behaviors managers can adopt to be more effective:

1. Practice Open Communication

Effective managers solicit regular feedback in order to understand the needs of their people. Listening to what your people actually need is a great first step in being a champion for them.

2. Turn Feedback into Action

Managers hold the key to communicating about action and change and making the link between individual feedback and company-wide action. When employees feel their company is good at turning feedback into action, their engagement, well-being, and intent to stay all rise.

3. Establish and Maintain Trust

The psychological contract has come under threat due to COVID-19. Managers have been at the forefront of translating the breaches of that contract (read: asking employees to go to work during a pandemic), as well as the new terms (i.e., explaining how the organization is keeping employees safe). In order to maintain that sense of trust, managers must continue to communicate the new policies and norms that will ensure the health and safety of employees in a post-COVID workplace.

4. Foster a Culture of Belonging

Employees who trust their managers, believe that they care about them as individuals, and listen to their perspectives experience a high sense of belonging – a key driver of engagement.

5. Provide Support in Weathering Change

Feeling supported in being able to adapt to organizational changes is another strong influencer of belonging.

6. Encourage Collaboration

Great work isn’t accomplished in a vacuum. Effective managers foster collaboration within their teams as well as seek input from stakeholders and subject matter experts.

7. Support Career Development

Effective managers will leverage a performance review conversation to discuss an employee’s career aspirations, and then follow up by distributing development opportunities in a way that’s fair and equitable.

8. Walk the Walk

In order to meet your employees’ needs, effective managers need to meet their own needs first. Similar to putting your own oxygen mask on first, effective managers set healthy boundaries around work/life, promote safe workplace practices, and build trust through example setting and taking action.

Your management style will differ from your peers, colleagues, and even your own manager. Why? Because your approach will be based on listening to what your individual people need – and then actioning that feedback to meet their needs.

The Bottom Line

As a manager, your job is to help your people shine: Listen to their needs, give them the tools to be successful – and then take a front row seat as they step into the spotlight.

Want to support your people managers in realizing their full potential? Our culture management platform and employee survey gives managers access to their own people data. Managers can get a nuanced understanding of how effectively they are managing their team.

Using data-driven insights, start understanding and improving your management effectiveness today – ask us how we can help.

About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the Global Authority on Workplace Culture. We make it easy to survey your employees, uncover actionable insights and get recognized for your great company culture. Learn more about Great Place to Work Certification.

Lauren O'Donnell
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