As a manager, one of your main priorities is to invest in developing your work performance and learning how you can manage your team more effectively.
Why? Because you are the role model for the team you are managing. Employees come to you for support, guidance, and feedback, and the way you respond and manage these situations will reflect on your competency as a manager.
In this blog post, we will explore the importance of professional development for managers and take a look at the ten work performance improvement examples for managers. Growth is important, whether you consider yourself a top-performing leader or not, there is always room for improvement. Your efficiency as a leader directly impacts your team's effectiveness and your company's success. Therefore, it is useful to self-reflect and pinpoint the areas that you can improve on.
What's in this post:
Why is professional development important for Managers?
💡Fun Fact: Managers who invest in their professional improvement are 47% more likely to build high-performing teams.
There are a number of reasons why professional development is important for managers. From being able to give constructive feedback, setting clear and achievable goals to help improve employee performance, and having efficient time management skills and strong problem-solving skills, managers should have professional development as one of their top priorities.
When managers gain professional development, it represents their competency as potential leaders. It helps managers stay up to date with industry trends and legal obligations to make sure that they are managing their teams efficiently. Furthermore, it helps managers to refine their interpersonal skills which will help them run a successful business.
Additionally, investing time in managerial development also goes a long way to ensure that your valuable employees want to work for their manager and your organization because as we know, employees tend to leave managers, not companies.
Here are a few reasons why professional improvement is important for managers:
- Promotes higher retention rates: A bad manager can lower an employee's work performance and overall job satisfaction. This leads to employees leaving the company in search of a better workplace experience. A good manager will know how to effectively retain valuable employees by bolstering their confidence, providing regular feedback, and opportunities for growth so that employees want to stay at the company longer and contribute to organizational success.
According to statistics from a talent management platform, 94% of employees would work longer at a company if it invested in their development.
- Higher employee engagement: When managers know how to lead their teams efficiently, they are better able to motivate employees to become more engaged in their tasks and development, and create a harmonious work environment.
- Expand knowledge base: Managers who are constantly learning new skills and methods will enhance their leadership skills and work performance in the long run. Therefore, professional development helps managers attain knowledge of new technologies and trends, develop new ideas, and increase their expertise in their field. This will benefit them greatly when employees turn to them for support on certain topics or projects, as they will be able to step in and share their knowledge with their team.
- Boosts confidence and skills: Having confidence is important for managers, and this comes with training. Training naturally enhances a manager's skills and capabilities which allows them to show up more confidently in their role. This also comes in clutch when managers conduct an employee performance review. Professional development will help them to identify an employee's areas of improvement quickly, set measurable goals, and know how to help employees achieve their goals successfully. Hence, the quality of the manager's performance increases.
- Provides valuable networking opportunities: Professional development provides managers to opportunity to network with others in their industry by attending seminars, workshops, conferences, and training programs. Networking with other managers is important for them to have the space to share interests and ambitions, and also get the opportunity to exchange advice and support from other managers. This also aids in the expansion of their knowledge base and helps them increase their confidence.
- Stay current on the industry trends: With businesses constantly changing and evolving, it is important for managers to keep up with the changes happening within their industry. Professional development helps managers to be informed on the best practices to implement, new regulations and technology, and staying up to date on how to remain competitive and relevant in their industry.
Work performance improvement examples
If you are a manager in search of ways to improve your management skills, here are 10 performance improvement examples to consider:
It is vital for managers to know how to communicate successfully with their teams, other business leaders, clients, and customers. Therefore, this integral skill is an important area of improvement for all managers. Even if you think that your communication skills are top-notch, there is always room for improvement.
One of the important skills to have when it comes to communication is your active listening skills. Active listening is an important skill that will help managers understand the ideas or needs that each team member voices, and build trust.
Here are some questions to think about when it comes to reflecting on your communication skills:
How do you respond to your employees when they issue a complaint?
How well do you listen to others?
What is your communication style during a team collaboration?
Furthermore, managers can also learn more about the impact that positive body language has on helping employees feel like they are heard and understood.
A tip for improving communication? See communication as a two-way street, and show your employees that are approachable and accessible.
Managers can often be seen as intimidating to their team, which is why it is important for you to communicate your availability to your team for questions or concerns. Be sure to also find the right communication tool that works best for all team meetings and one-on-one conversations.
Setting better goals
Good managers know how to set goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). However, learning how to become an effective goal-setter is a skill that is developed over time, which is why it is an important area of improvement for managers.
Managers can continuously improve on this skill by regularly conducting employee evaluations or creating a document such as a performance improvement plan that allows managers and employees to construct an outline for goals, and how they will be achieved.
Do you approach feedback conversations with a positive attitude? How do you relay the feedback you have received from your coworkers to them? and more importantly, how do you motivate them to participate in training?
Whether you are discussing performance goals or performance issues, it is important to take an approach that will inspire your team to perform their best and unleash their full potential. You can do so by practicing effective motivation strategies that provide them with opportunities for development and growth, and show them your dedication to their success. Motivation can also involve public acknowledgment or rewarding high achievements.
By expanding on your motivational strategies to bring out the best in each employee, you are also improving your leadership skills, and enhancing your team's performance.
When managers remember to show gratitude for their team's performance and contribution to the company's success, employees are naturally inspired to do their best and continuously improve their work quality and performance.
Therefore, showing appreciation to your team members is a great area of focus for improvement as a manager because it also allows you and your other team members to reap the benefits of it once you begin.
Here are some questions to reflect on when it comes to employee appreciation:
How do you reward or show recognition for your employee's hard work and achievements?
How can you show employee appreciation more effectively?
How do/can you informally communicate gratitude to your employees?
With the busy schedule that follows a manager, showing appreciation to employees can often be forgotten or shoved to the bottom of the to-do list, which is why it is a good area of improvement for managers. The more you appreciate your team's hard work, the more they will respect you as their manager, and the longer they want to stay with you once they see that their hard work is valued.
Giving support is one of the most important things that a manager should know how to provide to their team. Good managers have regular check-ins with their team, collectively and individually, to stay up to date on each person's performance and training progress, deliver feedback to improve trust and rapport, and keep note of any new ideas that come up.
Offering support within a team is a useful area of improvement for managers as it also is a productive way for managers to simultaneously improve their leadership abilities. You can improve in this area by engaging in more frequent one-on-one conversations with individual employees and regularly asking them if they need your support or guidance in any way.
Managers often lead by example and mirror the advice and guidance that they give to their employees. In other words, you take on the responsibility to demonstrate the qualities that you want to see within your team. Therefore, it is important that you continuously work on your personal growth to improve your efficiency as a manager and show up as your best self to inspire others to do the same.
Here are two questions you can reflect on for your personal growth and successfully lead by example:
What kind of behavior would I like to see in my team and how can I be an example of that?
What skills can I improve on or gain that I feel is missing in my team?
You can also improve on personal growth by taking part in training and increasing your self-awareness.
Effective and strategic delegation
Managers should know how to effectively delegate tasks and explain job responsibilities clearly to avoid confusion and misunderstandings. What can help is to highlight the strengths of your team and leverage them in an effective way that can be a valuable avenue for your growth as a manager.
How can you leverage your team's strengths? By reviewing your tasks, and seeing which of them can be accomplished by someone in your team who has the skills and competency to tackle the task successfully.
Doing so also puts your delegation and strategic thinking skills to good use and helps you refine the strengths of each employee.
As a manager, you may often deal with issues and challenges in the workplace that require your immediate attention or insight. However, effective leaders often have the knack of anticipating challenges before they arise and activating their problem-solving skills to resolve them.
Since workplace challenges are a frequent topic, working on your problem-solving skills is a consistent area of improvement for managers.
So, how can you become that effective leader? Reflect on the following:
What were the challenges that your team has faced in the past?
What caused them to arise?
How did you solve them? and what would you do differently the next time this issue occurs?
Note down the indicators that may preempt a similar situation in the future.
You can also involve your team to engage in sharing creative problem-solving suggestions and ideas.
Building strong relationships
Successful managers always develop positive working relationships with their employees, and help employees build positive relationships amongst themselves. Strong work relationships help boost team productivity and allow for communication between the team members and you to be open and transparent. As a result of this, your team's ability to achieve their goals will be higher as there is more trust and harmony in the everyday work environment.
You can build stronger work relationships by arranging social activities with your team and holding communication-oriented training that incorporates enjoyable exercises and materials to keep the training inspiring, entertaining yet productive.
Cultivating a growth mindset
Strong leaders often have a growth mindset that helps them enhance their personal and professional development. This is because a growth mindset is what reminds them that any skill or knowledge can be gained when you dedicate enough time and attention to it.
A growth mindset also helps to bring out other qualities such as dedication and perseverance. Having these qualities as a manager is also vital in being able to lead your team to success despite facing roadblocks and challenges along the way. Therefore, it is important to make this a productive focus for professional improvement as a manager.
When cultivating a growth mindset, don't forget to encourage your team to do the same.
Tips for work performance improvement
Here are a few extra tips on how you can improve your work performance and implement in your performance improvement plans:
Frequently share and receive feedback: Create a system or channel where your team can input feedback for any aspect of work. This ensures that all feedback is received, and responded to in a timely manner. As a result, this will help to develop a culture of ongoing, constructive feedback that aids in development.
Collaborate: Teamwork makes the dream work. Build a culture of teamwork where employees enjoy working together, and everyone is motivated to achieve their goals. You can do this by giving your team the opportunity to work together on projects and tasks
Create training programs that will help boost improvement: Training programs are a great way to help you and your team improve skills and gain new knowledge. Therefore, you should create a training program or implement training programs in your routine that will prepare you to face tomorrow's challenges successfully.
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It is important for managers to recognize the impact that their leadership style has on employee retention. Therefore, there are numerous ways that managers can improve their leadership skills to create a positive and productive work environment that instills motivation into employees. Here are just a few:
Learn how to listen and understand when employees are sharing ideas or expressing concerns
Focus on building emotional intelligence
Seek out professional development through training or coaching.
Conduct quality performance reviews.
Invest in employee growth to show your dedication to their success.
When it comes to investing time into professional development, companies can start by having conversations with employees and leaders and getting them to evaluate their skills and competencies to see what is missing and what they would like to improve on. Companies should therefore take an interest in their staff's career ambitions and encourage mentoring or coaching to boost their development and promote continuous training.