Most Essential Skills of a Competent Manager
by Craig Wagener D. Optom, Ph.D., MBA,
Whatever your business entity provides by way of services or goods sold, having a
competent manager at the helm will go a long way in making the enterprise successful.
So what skills should a competent manager possess? How does a competent manager affect
positive leadership in their organization?
There are four essential areas in which a manager should focus to achieve a positive
- Building an engaged team to provide effective support.
- Coaching to develop skills.
- Using positive motivation to improve performance.
- Enhancing innovation by encouraging staff to find better ways to do business.
The benefits of having engaged employees are manifold. Engaged employees are less
likely to be absent from work. Engaged employees are less likely to seek other employment.
Engaged employees have fewer work accidents. Engaged employees are more productive
and cultivate better relationships with other employees and with their supervisors.
In fact, research shows that there is 37% less absenteeism, 25% less in staff turnover,
48% less in on the job safety incidents, and 28% less in shrinkage. Shrinkage is
a measure of how much time is lost in the business enterprise to things like vacation,
breaks, lunch, holidays, sick time, training, etc.
How does the competent manager build engaged employees?
- Encourage employees to share thoughts, ideas, and concerns.
- Be an example of the performance desired in an employee.
- Don’t ask employees to do things that you, as the manager, refuse to do.
- Make employees feel “in” on decisions.
- Show appreciation for quality work.
- Pay them well.
Coach to Develop:
- Promote personal growth.
- Provide first class job training.
- Improve employee performance by positive motivation.
- Reward improved performance.
A competent manager should always seek to promote the personal growth of employees.
This demonstrates to the employee, in a tangible way, that the manager is interested
in their growth and success. Managers need to ensure that there is first class job
training. Managers cannot expect staff to succeed and perform well if they are not
adequately trained. A motivated employee is an employee that performs at a higher
level than a non-motivated employee. Everybody likes to feel appreciated for a job
well done. Managers who appreciate their employees by words of encouragement and
thanks as well as tangible rewards such as a gift card or free movie ticket, will
cultivate an atmosphere of superior performance. 79% of employees who quit do so
because they did not feel appreciated and valued.
- Everyone needs to feel that they are appreciated for good performance.
- To achieve greater performance from your staff, encourage and motivate.
- Be a real cheerleader giving your staff regular “locker room pep talks.”
Motivation needs to be positive, encouraging, and genuine. Insincerity will be quickly
identified and all motivation lost. Appreciating a job well done will go a long way
in encouraging a quality repeat performance. When employees feel confident in their
skills and abilities, they will be inspired to repeat or even exceed past performance
on the next project. Competent managers will go ‘all out’ to encourage and motivate
their staff to achieve a continuum of greater performance on each task.
- Encourage staff to share their ideas and concerns.
- No idea is insignificant, and all suggestions will be given serious consideration.
- Brainstorm with staff to find solutions for challenges.
- Be aware that staff may have suggestions for a better way of doing business.
This is another important aspect of the mindset of the employee. Managers who encourage
staff to offer their ideas and suggestions, especially in problem-solving, show them
that they can positively add to the culture and success of the business. Managers
should be open-minded when considering staff ideas and suggestions and be willing,
if prudent, to make changes to the old way of doing business, especially, if it will
improve the business model. Staff may have better ideas or ways of performing tasks
or conducting business than presented by the current business model. Managers. No
employee idea should be discarded before giving it serious consideration.
When staff members contribute to innovation by sharing their ideas with receptive
managers, trust is gained and therein a free-flowing sharing of ideas and methods,
as well as pinpointing of problems which need resolution. When trust and engagement
are present, staff members will be committed mentally and emotionally to the business
Try implementing the above-ideas into your business enterprise and see what a difference
they can make to improve your bottom line.