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How to Be a Good Manager

April 17, 2019

Tips for Contractors on Leading a Team

According to Gallup, 50 percent of employees leave their jobs because of their managers. With the current labor shortage, contractors need to do everything they can to retain employees, so they don’t have to spend time recruiting and training new people to replace ones who’ve left. Here are some tips to keep employees happy, productive and loyal to your company.

Show Team Members You CareContractor talking with team member

Work doesn’t have to be all business all the time. Taking the time to get to know the people on your team can make working together more enjoyable. Employees are unlikely to remain at their jobs if they feel like just another cog in the wheel. Show your team that you care by regularly checking in with them on both work and their personal lives. Actions as simple as asking about their weekends, recognizing their birthdays or buying lunch now and again can go a long way to showing you care about them as people and not just as a source of labor.

Showing your team that you care can also build trust. Employees will be more likely to come to you with feedback and ideas if they feel that you will receive them with an open mind.

Communicate Honestly

Your team relies on you to communicate everything they need to know to get a job done. Start each project with a meeting to get everyone on the same page. This allows you to set expectations for the project and share all the information they’ll need to get the job done successfully. You can even write a short agenda ahead of time to ensure you don’t leave any details out. This meeting is also a natural time to be honest about anticipated challenges instead of withholding important details from your team.

When there’s conflict or something does go wrong, don’t jump to conclusions or look for someone to blame. Actively listen to everyone involved to try to understand what happened. Restate what you’ve heard to make sure you have the details straight. Then come up with a plan to move forward. In these situations, it’s important that you don’t dwell on someone’s mistake, but rather offer constructive feedback and solutions for how to avoid the same situation in the future.

Being a good manager doesn’t only include sharing information; it also involves listening to what people have to say. Make time for people on your team to hear any questions, concerns and feedback they might have.

Make Smart Decisions

The average person makes 35,000 decisions in a day. As a manager, your team is looking to you to help them through difficult choices.
In a tough situation, a good manager can assess all options and confidently choose a pathway to move forward.

Team members talking on the job siteUnderstand that this doesn’t necessarily mean making a decision on your own. Assessing all options might mean you need to get your team members’ thoughts on the situation. Once you know what they
think, you can consider your options and make the final decision. As the manager, your employees are counting on you to make the best decision to carry the team forward.

Focus on Team Members’ Strengths, Help Overcome Weaknesses

Employees appreciate a manager who recognizes when they do a good job and finds ways to help them get better at the things that need work. When possible, put people in situations that play to their strengths. For example, if someone likes teaching others, consider making them your go-to to help train and mentor new team members. Or if a team member has strong organizational skills, have them take the lead on keeping track of project materials.

Investing in your team is one of the most important things you can do to retain employees. Provide opportunities for employees to further themselves in their careers and develop their skills. Allow them to attend training sessions and encourage them to join local industry organizations. Your entire team will ultimately benefit if each team member gets better at their position, and your employees will be more likely to stick around if they feel you’re investing in them.

Consider these tips on how to be a good manager. They could help you retain employees, which is especially crucial during the labor shortage. Check out our blog for more tips on recruiting and retaining employees, such as creating work-life balance and recruiting millennials to your team.