7 Tips for Effective Management Success

Want to Be a Manager That Employees Want to Follow? See How.

Female manager and male worker talking at desk in factory
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An effective manager pays attention to many facets of management, leadership, and learning within an organization. So, it's difficult to take the topic of management success and say that the following ten items are the most important for success. Legions of articles and books profess to have answered this question. Many are variations on the same theme. Others profess to add a new characteristic or skill.

There are, however, seven management skills without which you won't become a successful manager. These are the key and critical skills which will help you lead your team and encourage employees to want to follow you. And, when employees want to follow you, you have accomplished a key component of managing employees.

Effective Managers Know What Employees Need From Them—And What They Don't Need

Successful managers know what employees need to work effectively, stay productive, thrill customers, and contribute to a harmonious workplace. They know that employees need to know how their contributions affect the accomplishment of the organization's goals. They know the behaviors that a manager needs to stay away from to encourage successful employees.

The Gallup organization, through its Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award, suggests eight skills that successful managers demonstrate.

  • Connect purpose to individual and team activities.
  • Shine a light on the opinions of others and make them count.
  • Coach your team in a way that allows for genuine candor.
  • Commit to one meaningful conversation a week with each team member.
  • Unlock human motivation by connecting work to a person's innate tendencies.
  • Recognize and reward excellence.
  • Care about your employees as real people.
  • Make your No. 1 job the development of new stars.

Managers who want to succeed also understand that they are the most significant factor in whether employees are motivated to want to show up for work. Managers play a key role in all four of the levers that drive whether employees are motivated and contributing to their workplace (reward system, culture, job design, and performance management and resource allocation). 

A bad manager is frequently cited as a key reason why when employees quit their jobs.

Striving for greatness as a manager should top every manager's goal list. The difference that a great manager can make in the work lives of employees is inestimable. Helping employees feel rewarded, recognized, and thanked is also key to performing effectively as a manager.

The most important issue in management success, however, is being a person that others want to follow. People have rational reasons for following such as reaching career goals, attaining money, and gaining power. They also have irrational motivations that "arise from the powerful images and emotions in our unconscious that we project onto our relationships with leaders."

Every action you take during your career in an organization helps determine whether people will one day want to follow you. Without followers, you cannot lead and manage. So, use these seven tips to be the successful manager that you aspire to become.

Seven Key Effective Management Success Skills

A successful manager, one whom others want to follow, performs the following actions effectively.

Builds Effective and Responsive Interpersonal Relationships

Reporting staff members, colleagues, and senior managers respect the ability to demonstrate caring, collaboration, respect, trust, and attentiveness. They depend on a manager to treat colleagues with dignity and respect, to keep their word, to exude integrity, and display dependability and character under even the most challenging occurrences and challenges. Demonstrate that you care about the employees who report to you.

Communicates Effectively

An effective manager is someone who communicates effectively in person, print, texts, and email. Listening and two-way feedback characterize interactions with others.

The manager should also be open to receiving feedback from colleagues and reporting staff. Avoid a defensive response and be willing to change your behavior when the feedback is on target. But, mostly, understand and act upon the power of interaction that encourages employees to see their connection to the overall company's strategic goals and plan.

Builds a Team

Building a team enables other staff to collaborate more effectively with each other. People feel as if they have become more—more effective, more creative, more productive—in the presence of a team builder. Be willing to sit down and problem solve when teamwork or team tasks are not on target and working effectively. Let employees know directly and candidly when they are impeding the team's progress.

Understands the Financial Aspects of the Business

Successful managers understand the financial aspects of the business and set goals and measures and documents staff progress and success. This allows the team to feel a sense of progress and purpose, that they are reaching goals and exceeding expectations. People want to know how they are performing against expectations at work.

Financial and other goals let them know. Painting a picture that employees can agree on is effective for noting progress when numerical goals don't exist. Good managers understand and play an appropriate role in creating this picture, feedback, and communication.

Creates a Positive Environment

Create an environment in which people experience positive morale and recognition and employees are motivated to work hard for the success of the business. Understands that the manager is one of the most significant factors in whether employees are happy at work. Your interaction with employees sets the tone for the workplace every day. Make sure that you interact with each employee you manage regularly—if not daily.

Leads by Example

Lead by example and set the pace via your expectations and behavior. Provide recognition when others do the same. Employees know that you are the real deal because you say and do the same thing. You walk your talk and so the employees trust you.

Empowers Others

Help people grow and develop their skills and capabilities through education and on-the-job learning. Successful managers bring career pathing to employees so that they continue to grow and develop. Makes employee career and personal development a priority in the workplace.

Employees feel as if their manager cares about their careers and progress. This is one of the most significant factors that employees need from work. As Gallup said earlier, "Make your No. 1 job the development of new stars."

The Bottom Line

Know a few more characteristics of management success? These are just a start, but they're a good start. You'll want to begin with these skills and attributes when you decide to aim for management success.

Article Sources

  1. Gallup Workplace. "8 Behaviors of the World's Best Managers." Accessed June 6, 2020.

  2. Harvard Business Review. "Employee Motivation: A Powerful New Model." (Page 3-4.) Accessed June 5, 2020.

  3. Harvard Business Review. "Why People Follow the Leader: The Power of Transference." Accessed June 5, 2020.