4 Ways To Identify a Good Manager

When we think about what makes a good manager, it helps to look at what makes a good teacher. After all, that is what a good manager is—a teacher. Not only do they teach students the various topics of study, but they can also inspire that student to reach beyond the basics. They inspire you to be a better person, to think outside the box, and not to let failure win.

When asked about the characteristics of a good manager, many of the same qualities are listed. While each manager has the best of intentions, it is the execution that determines if the manager is good or not. Unfortunately, most people have had more experience with the not-so-good ones.

An Honest Policy

In an era that has seen more than a few people wind up in prison for lining their pockets in the insider trading scandals, honest management seems hard to come by. While popular news channels announce the stories, viewers at home are left wondering what are insider trades. Simply put, it is where a person uses information unknown to the public to buy or sell stocks in a particular company. Unfortunately, insider trading is not limited to those on Wall Street. Even government officials have been charged and/or linked to insider trading.

Accusations of insider trading can lead to company-wide layoffs. An honest manager would not jeopardize someone else’s livelihood to make a few dollars.

Hard-Working and Dependable

It is easy for those in management to hand out tasks and then reap the rewards for project completion. Unfortunately, that type of attitude filters down into the staff, and unbeknownst to higher-ups, the staff begins to treat their peers the same way. Moreover, the staff knows they are being overlooked and therefore less likely to turn in stellar work.

I have been lucky enough to work under a manager who not only shared in the work but visibly did so. One night before our quarterly inspection she could be seen performing a variety of cleaning tasks including polishing several sets of metal cabinets. She did not just delegate the tasks that were needed, she assisted in getting them done. While she had always been a person to lead from the front, it was watching her that was most impressive.

Team Focused

A good manager knows failure and success rest on the team, not the individual. Training is one of those functions that have visible results. We have all been in places where you can see if management takes training seriously. It breathes not just in employee performance, but also in the quality of the work.

Think about the fast-food restaurant where each person has a position. An effectively trained and managed team rarely deviates from the script. Consequently, it is disheartening to watch people as they wander from their proper places. As a previous manager of a fast-food restaurant, I am well acquainted with the answers of why that should not be happening. Also in how not taking corrective action leads to this behavior being repeated.

In short, the store management failed the team by not ensuring the manager on shift understood the how’s and why’s of keeping people in place.

A People Person

This might seem like another obvious trait; however, being a people person means so much more than others consider. It is not about being able to hold conversations and making someone laugh. It is more about knowing who people are and understanding their expectations and goals. Accordingly, a real people person in management is looking to know where their “people” want to be in five years and wants to show them how to get there.

Companies that offer education benefits are positioning themselves to obtain the most out of the people they have by increasing what they know.

Thousands of people will spend the majority of their career trying to get to the management level not understanding the work it takes to actually be there. These four seemingly small things demonstrated by a good manager increase company morale. Happy employees are willing to work harder and go the extra mile. They are less likely to sew dissension in the ranks increasing the chances the company has at acquiring and retaining reliable staff. This is something every company can get behind.

Heron Nelson

Heron is a business blogger with a focus on personal finance and wealth management. With over 7 years of experience writing about financial topics, Heron has established herself as a trusted voice in the personal finance space. She has a deep understanding of financial concepts and strategies, and is able to explain them in a relatable and actionable way for her readers.