What Employees expect from their Manager

Published: 23rd July 2009
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When discussing and writing about personnel management, you will often hear the ideas about management of such people as John Adair. Valuable as these insights are of even greater importance, it can be argued, is the opinion of the managed. Real management ability is only achieved when the managed believe in the ability of their manager to fulfill their needs.



In a study over 7500 employees were asked what they most valued and admired about their manager.



Strength of character was by far the most important personal quality a manager can possess. Simply put, unless you can convince your staff of your honesty and ethics they will not trust you. To convince staff takes more than just words. This is because a manager is not judged by his words but by his deeds. Broken promises, hushed-up problems and lack of correlation between words and deeds are clear signs of a lack of sincerity.



Competence was also important. Competence, above all, requires the manager to possess a type of universal knowledge as well as company specific and technical know how. Managers must be able to control every situation. Of course, the best indicator of competence is success. The higher a manager climbs the company ladder, the greater the strategic abilities will be expected of him/her. In times of crisis the manager will be the first to give the company that little bit extra. This does not mean that the manager will be expected to have specialist technical knowledge. More important is a general ability to eliminate weaknesses and to motivate employees.



Many of those questioned used the terms of vision, dream and personal ambition to describe a good manager. Lack of foresight is often quoted as the main shortcoming of a good manager. Managers must know which direction the business is going and have a good eye for the future.



However, it is not enough to simply have a dream of the future. You must express and enact the dream every day! Many employees are not looking for a job, but a challenge. Inspiring employees, by showing enthusiasm and energy, helps to put ideas into practice on a daily basis.



So how can the manager put these findings into practice? Perhaps one of the most important things for any manager to do is to get to know your employees. After all, you can only lead your employees if you know them. Make sure you know their hopes and fears, their moral concepts and their motivation. In so doing, you are showing genuine personal interest in your employees. Visiting clients together, for example, provides an excellent opportunity to do just that.



Employees only look up to those with the courage of their convictions. However, never confuse steadfastness with stubborness. Everyone makes mistakes and can be taken in by another point of view. If that happens to you, openly acknowledge your mistake and change your opinion. You will only appear unconvincing, if you suppress (unpleasant) truths!



Without emotion, you will be unable to arouse enthusiasm in your employees. A bored manager generates boredom in his/her staff. Show that success and failure creates an impression on you! Use anecdotes and metaphors, speak in lively, exciting language! Look people in the eye when speaking to them!



If a manager is acknowledged as a superior, he or she will in time become an idol to his/her employees. Your employees will want to emulate you in business at least. Therefore, always behave and make decisions as you would expect your employees to. No smoker can credibly forbid his/her children from smoking! Remember, your behaviour is an example to your employees.



The first man to climb Mount Everest said after the descent: You never conquer the mountain. You conquer yourself, your hopes and fears.



All managers are plagued by the following fears: Do I always know what is going on in my market? Can I cope with problems when they arise? Am I making the right decisions for myself, for my people and for my firm?



Never unsettle your employees by discussing these decisions with them. Subordinates do not want to be led by people with doubts and worries. Learn to deal with your fears! Do not suppress your weaknesses, but look for improvements.



By following these guidelines you will fulfill your employees needs and become a good manager. If you feel you need to development your managerial skills, attend a good management training course.


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