May 25, 2019

What makes a good Manager?

(Today’s guest blogger for GSM Business Management week is Paul McCormick of opening city doors.  Paul has worked for many years at the heart of the London financial markets, in that time he has worked for many managers. Here is his view of what makes a good one.)

paul mccormick
paul mccormick

Managers have a huge impact on the happiness of employees.  In fact more than two-thirds of employees say their manager directly impacts their job satisfaction given the amount of time they spend working together.  So the role of ‘Manager’ is crucial both for the general well-being of the workforce and in turn for both talent retention and motivation.  In other words keep your employees happy!

Good management has direct and major implications for business, including significantly fewer accidents at work (nearly 50% according to Gallup researchers) and far less product quality defects    (41% fewer accordingly again to Gallup).  Companies included in Forbes’ 100 Best Companies to Work For saw a 14% bigger increase in their share prices compared to other companies in the market.

So what makes employees happy?

Is a big fat pay rise the answer?  No.  Actually 65 % of employees said they just wanted some recognition for their work from their manager with the other 35% saying they would be happier if they got a pay rise.  This is a big issue.  In the same survey 43% said they regularly considered quitting their job so there is plenty of room for improvement in today’s workplace.  If the impact of the boss is negative, it has big implications for the business.

Steps to good management

  •  Treat employees with respect and courtesy. By respecting your staff they will respect you back.
  • Increase specific staff ownership of projects. Individuals correspondingly take more pride in their work.  People who see the results of their work tend to perform better.
  • Make employees feel as though they have someone to talk to if they need.
  • Express appreciation for a job well done. Such recognition leads to consistently good work.
  • Communicate with your staff around non-work issues. A pleasant “Good Morning” “I’ll see you all tomorrow “ or “How was your weekend ? ” can go an awful long way as can remembering a topic of concern that one of your staff had last week and checking up that this issue is now resolved.
  • Lead by example. This incorporates pro-actively committing yourself to work activities and speaking and behaving in a positive manner.  This normally rubs off!
  • Deliver meaningful feedback to employees so that managers and employees have joint accountability for the performance of an employee. This totally flips the dynamic of the interactions between manager and employee.

    Good Manager quote

Employees are not all the same

If you manage a team of ten individuals you have exactly that, ten individuals all requiring a slightly different management style.  It is definitely a case of one size does not fit all!  Some will require encouragement, some leadership, some recognition and some you just let get on with it!  Managers who acknowledge these different personally traits in their staff are far more likely to produce  a winning and happy workforce leading to major benefits for all.

Change isn’t always easy but, according to the London School of Economics, replacing a poor manager with a good one can be equivalent to taking on an additional member of staff in a team of nine.

Paul McCormick

Career Blogger,

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