Key Qualities of Great Managers

Key Qualities of Great Managers

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Great managers possess a unique approach to their roles, going beyond mere leadership to provide support and care for their team members. They understand that the company’s success is intricately linked to the happiness and satisfaction of the people around them.

The gap between an average manager and a great one can significantly impact your organization. An ordinary manager may contribute to decreased employee retention, potentially costing your company thousands of dollars. On the other hand, an outstanding manager carefully chooses individuals based on their abilities and takes the time to understand their employees, fostering a positive work environment that bolsters retention and overall performance.

If you aspire to be an exceptional manager, consider these five essential qualities that set great managers apart from the rest.

Select People Based on Talent, Not Experience

Recruiting exceptional talent is a challenging task for any organization. A single poor hiring decision can result in a loss equivalent to 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. Therefore, it is crucial to not only attract top-notch talent to your company but also have an outstanding manager to guide and develop them.

According to a recent Gallup survey, a significant number of exceptional managers revealed that they prioritize talent when selecting team members, rather than focusing on experience, education, or intelligence. This approach helps build strong teams that drive success within the organization.

When recruiting new employees, it is essential to identify specific talents, such as:

  1. Striving: Does the candidate have a drive for achievement, the pursuit of expertise, and the motivation to put beliefs into action.
  2. Thinking: Focusing on qualities like focus, discipline, personal responsibility, and decision-making abilities.
  3. Relating: Emphasizing empathy, attentiveness to individual differences, persuasion skills, and leadership capabilities.

Exceptional managers maximize their productivity by surrounding themselves with competent individuals. By having a team of highly-skilled professionals, you can allocate time more efficiently to other important tasks. It’s crucial to avoid wasting time training underqualified employees; that’s why great managers prioritize hiring candidates with talent over experience. While experience can be acquired through training, intangible qualities are more challenging to develop.

They Know Their Employees

Exceptional managers excel in getting things done efficiently. They don’t attempt to handle every task themselves; instead, they trust their employees to perform their jobs and become self-reliant when necessary. Great managers are aware of what needs to be accomplished, the timeline, and who is best suited for each task. This level of understanding is achieved by getting to know their employees well.

By comprehending your employees’ strengths and weaknesses, you can effectively delegate tasks that suit their capabilities. Companies thrive on diversity, and understanding your employees allows you to assign the right person to the right job.

“As an example, if a challenge is what your staff person craves, make sure he always has one tough, challenging assignment. If your staff member prefers routine, send more repetitive work in his direction. If he enjoys solving problems for people, he may excel in front-line service.” – The Balance Careers

It’s important to recognize that while experience can be taught, talent cannot. Many employers prioritize hiring candidates with extensive experience over those with minimal experience but great potential. Focusing on talent rather than experience can yield significant benefits in the long run.

You can teach Microsoft Office, organizational skills, and many other things, but you can’t teach talent. In the beginning, if you choose to hire a candidate with talent and no experience, it will be morning training for you. However, after training is completed, you will have a much better candidate than if you chose to hire based off experience.

Keep Lines of Communication Open

Communication is key in everything you do. Offering your number to your employees shows that you are open to questions, concerns, and conversation. Employees want to feel like they have a voice at their position. If you do not offer the ability for them to talk to you, they will keep their problems cooped up until they had enough.

Great managers go to great lengths to help their employees feel heard. Consistently being available to speak to is something many managers do not do.  This is something that sets great managers apart.

Great managers also take the time to plan events, parties, and outings where employees can get together as a team outside of work.

Great managers are never too far away from anything going on in the office. It’s important to maintain communication at all times with your employees; well-being matters just as much as production. Lack of communication causes in decrease in employee satisfaction.

They Constantly Train Their Employees

No one is perfect: no one knows everything. Remember that constantly training and motivating your employees to learn is ideal. Studies have found that training employees both for current work and additional skills will increase productivity and morale.

Most managers forget about training and learning additional skills because they don’t see an issue with what their employees are doing currently. However, think of your work as a basketball team.

Let’s say you are the head coach of the 96’ Chicago Bulls. As a head coach, you just won the title with the best record in NBA history during that time. Are you going to just let your players go into the next year without any training? No. Even though you have the best team and arguably the best NBA player ever, you are still going to look to train them for next season. Same goes with being a manager.

Training for work-related tasks will help with quality and efficiency. Continuously training your employees will help your company grow quicker. Training shouldn’t only be done during the onboarding process, but a continued process during the employee’s time with your company.

Not Afraid to Get Their Hands Dirty

Great managers approach work with a hands-on mentality. They do not sit on their high horse chatting about business or politics over lunch. Instead, they roll up their sleeves and work side by side with their team members. They know that looking at their work from the eyes of someone who does it every day assists in creating better strategies for the future.

Sometimes problems happen. Whether a shipment is delayed, an employee calls out, or you have a very buys day, it is those great managers that step in and work right alongside their employees.

“When employees have to do work that they don’t particularly enjoy or that may be difficult, it is easy to develop resentment for their managers who are not dealing with the same pains.” –


So, what do great managers do then? They train their employees throughout the year.

Great managers have an infinite amount of patience, and can deal with adversity every day. They are never too tired to listen to you about personal problems at work or outside of work.

Because they care for your life both inside and outside of work, they want to help make things better for you. After all, money isn’t everything – investing in people will reap the greatest rewards in the end.

Great managers don’t just talk about doing it right; they constantly encourage employees to do a task correctly and efficiently. Great managers not only give positive feedback when necessary but also provide constructive criticism, which improves office wellbeing!

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