3 HR Expert Tips for Becoming a Great Manager in 2021

Whether you’re a manager that works in a manufacturing company or one that deals with multiple employee shifts a day, one thing’s for certain: the pandemic has pushed you to adjust and optimize the way you manage your workforce.  

Working from home, incorporating extra health measures and adapting is now part of your vocabulary and daily reality.

Human capital management has never been a challenge so high on the priority list of managers’ agendas that it’s probably giving you major headaches!  

Additionally, several factors, like the famous CERB have directly impacted your workforce performance and productivity as well as seduced a portion of them to be unemployed.

Having a job as a company manager, you’re probably left wondering:

How can you ensure that your employees will be there when needed?

How do you turn your retention into a competitive advantage?  

Or better yet: What are employees looking for and motivated by in the wake of the pandemic?  

Being a great manager is no easy feat. Yet, over time it allows you to tackle all the pressing questions listed above.

 Let’s get straight into it!

1. Foster employee engagement through transparency

Did you know that a core driver of employee motivation is a sense of belonging? 

Having an open and collaborative workforce increases the sense of belonging to a group, and long-term employee engagement.

 To succeed in reaching your goals and targets, you need the support and efforts of your entire team.

 Imagine you are on a tandem bike with your team, riding to a specific location at a specific time.  

Everyone has to pedal in the same direction and maintain the same speed. 

However, since you are in charge of the bike, you have to steer the direction and the reason for going the distance, so that everyone gives the maximum effort to reach your desired destination on time!  

Having a more open and transparent management will provide you with the opportunity to share your concerns and challenges as a manager, as well as share the reasons why the whole team needs to be involved in achieving the common goals.  

Sharing the latest organizational goals at quarterly meetings is another good way to get the troops on board and motivated.  

You could even create friendly and unifying “challenges” within your different teams, to accentuate the synergy!  

To make this new type of management come into play, technology can become a very good ally. It’ll help you disseminate information and create a collaborative environment for your team.  

2. Mobilize and engage your workforce through collaborative technology tools

A famous African proverb states: “Alone we go faster, together we go further.” 

In other words, fast is great. You can get a lot done on your own but it can only get you so far until you get burnt out. With a supportive team, you can go the distance.

As a manager, promoting operational efficiency is at the top of your list.

Having an engaged and committed workforce you can rely on is a major part of achieving this goal.

One effective way of making employees feel engaged and part of a collective team is through integrating collaborative technology tools.

These tools improve certain processes like operation management but most importantly focus on building collaboration among employees.

In my personal experience, most employees are often very receptive and supportive of the integration of new collaborative tools.

Dashboards, collaborative platforms and direct communication with a manager are the tools of choice when we want to optimize our operational efficiency!

Not to mention, the innovative approach of collaborative technology gives you a competitive advantage.

By transparently sharing important information on the actual state of a work situation or problem, many employees may surprise you by actively volunteering to help solve it and even join others in the movement!  

At the end of the day, being closer to your workforce, by creating team synergy, should be your new priority!  

3. Fine-tune your soft skills

Now more than ever, it’s important that employees feel heard and listened to.

In order for this to become a reality, your management style and ability to mobilize your workforce plays a big role in it!  

It’s essential that you work on improving your basic human “soft skills” so you can offer your employees a empathetic and approachable manager.

After all, there’s nothing better than a manager who is understanding, motivating and listens to their employees to help them find solutions to their everyday problems. 

Someone who believes in them and gives them the opportunity to improve their skills in order to move up the ladder.

If this management style seems far from your true personality, here are some tips and tricks to help you get there:  

  • Show interest in your employees by doing daily floor rounds to learn about their challenges!  
  • Ask your employees open-ended questions to get to the root of their thoughts!  
  • Make sure you are actively listening when an employee raises an issue with you. You can do this by asking more questions related to what they just said.  
  • Set up flash surveys to probe some of the frustrations or concerns raised by some employees, to see how widespread they are across the team.

If you haven’t already done so, set up a collaborative tool to mobilize and communicate scheduling changes with your employees as well as offer employees autonomy to submit leave requests and replacements.

Written by Jessica Degrève, Consultant of B2B Technology and Founder of Degreve Communication