10 effective management techniques to boost employee performance

By Robert Half on 22 February 2021

An effective manager improves their team’s performance and efficiency, and in turn, drives organizational success.

With the shift to remote work driving greater autonomy amongst employees who are no longer working out of a single office, effective managers can help employees succeed by creating a sense of unity, clarity and engagement.

When well-managed, a great employee will feel accountable for their contribution, empowered to be creative, and motivated to improve which in turn will contribute to achieving organisational objectives.

Indeed, a recent study by Culture Amp found that employees with highly effective managers have a higher level of engagement and willingness to promote their company, while organisations with highly-effective managers are 3x more likely to be on track to meet or exceed post-COVID goals1.

Being a perfect manager isn’t always easy, and only becomes more challenging during a crisis or when navigating uncertain terrain. As well as building a strong foundation of leadership skills, every situation calls for different management techniques depending on the scenario. To help you become an effective manager for your team, here are ten behaviours and characteristics that are ideal for any leader to have:

1. An effective manager recognises their employees' performance

Recognition is an important factor behind employee motivation.

Bosses need to appreciate the role employees play in the organisation and the contribution they make daily and an effective manager should always show their appreciation to staff for a job well done. By underestimating the effort put in by staff members and the value they add, this can lead to unhappy, demotivated and underperforming staff. It could even lead to a higher staff turnover rate.

A simple ‘thank you’ can make a big difference to many employees, but where possible, provide positive feedback too. Expressing gratitude can help develop loyalty, boost motivation and productivity within your team.

2. You communicate clearly

It’s important for employees to understand what is expected of them. Ensuring your team is on the same page is particularly important with more companies adopting hybrid workforce arrangements that see employees scattered between remote and office locations.

As an effective manager, it’s your job to communicate clearly with workers on a one-to-one basis, or as a team, to ensure everyone knows what they’re meant to be doing. Establish clear timelines and expectations and check in regularly to ensure employees are effectively supported to undertake their roles.

3. You listen effectively

As a manager, you need to be able to listen to what your employees have to stay. Creating a collaborative environment and encouraging employees to be active participants in project planning will support their own sense of engagement.

Providing an open forum for feedback, particularly during performance reviews, can make employees feel supported and can surface issues before they grow into problems.

4. You're trustworthy and transparent

Being open and transparent is part of setting a good example and shows integrity. If employees believe they are being misled, or information is being withheld, this can lead to a breakdown of trust and undermine the employer/employee relationship.

Employees are looking for somebody they can look up to, and aspire to emulate. Strong team leaders are ethical, honest, collaborative, creative, empowering, innovative, dedicated, and trustworthy.

5. You act decisively

A productive team will be able to operate independently but look to their leader for direction and a common goal. Hesitation can lead to wasted productivity or a loss of trust amongst the team. Therefore, an effective manager needs to be decisive and give employees a clear understanding of the next steps required to navigate new or shifting business conditions.

6. You trust your employees to achieve

Good managers direct their teams work load by breaking down projects into manageable chunks and delegating according to the team’s strengths.

However, to delegate work, you need to trust that your workers can handle important tasks. An effective manager doesn’t micromanage, but instead, takes a step back and trusts staff to do a good job.

7. You resolve conflicts

Effective management requires a great deal of emotional intelligence, leading with empathy and honestly in order to guide teams to productive outcomes. Sometimes, it is necessary for managers to be a good mediator of conflicts, particularly if two members of the team have fallen out or just cannot see eye to eye.

For the sake of overall performance and productivity, it is important to resolve such situations quickly and effectively before they spiral out of control.

8. You get to know your employees

Every employee has a different set of motivators that drive them to perform. An effective manager should take the time to get to know what their employees need to achieve and what they really value in their job.

If you find out that an employee wants to ascend the leadership ladder, you may be able to provide a mentor or training. Others may be ready for new challenges to feel creatively engaged, while some may be looking for more flexible hours or improved equipment to be able to do their job more efficiently. By finding this out you can create more motivated employees and improve the overall work environment.

9. You're a high achiever

For employees to respect what you have to say and trust your judgement, they need to feel you have the skills and knowledge required to do the job as well as the enthusiasm to support the wider team.

To show that you can lead a team effectively, don’t just sit in your office and hide away. Get stuck in when needed and always be there when your team needs you. Provide ample opportunity for feedback and discussion. Be transparent with your work priorities and objectives so the team can see what their efforts feed into.

10. You stay one step ahead of everyone else

Of course, as a manager, it’s important to always stay slightly ahead of others in terms of knowledge, maturity and confidence.

Therefore, to be an effective manager, make sure you never stop growing, learning and developing your character.

A great manager is part strategist, part coach, part counsellor and part tactician.

Managing people takes a diverse range of skills, but aspiring leaders can acquire them – and these efforts will be richly rewarded. You may not have what it takes just yet, but you can achieve it with the right steps.

Learn from Robert Half’s expert recruiters so you can build a talented team of employees or advance your career. Operating in over 300 locations worldwide, our work agency in Sydney can provide you with assistance where and when you need it.

1. Culture Amp, Managing Better: Piercing the fog of today's uncertainty, 2021

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