Matthew Schmitt is the Director Process & IT for Volvo Trucks. He has more than 10 years experience in IT management in industries ranging from finance, healthcare, manufacturing and wholesale. Matthew has a clear focus on using IT to drive business objectives and effective IT management. You can learn more about Matthew at http://matthew-schmitt.com.
Four Fundamental Keys to Effective Management
Your role as a manager can be quite involved in all the aspects of leading your team and department. You have budgetary items to worry about, development of your team, customer service, reporting, and on top of that the never-ending onslaught of emails and voicemails, creating a cloud of noise around a situation that’s tough to control in the first place. Thinking about these four areas can help improve the continuity of your team through a foundation of caring and thoughtful leadership.
You might think this is a no brainer, but you’d be surprised. As a leader, your team looks to you when things “hit the fan”. It’s important that when your customer or employee is upset, or the mail server has gone up in flames, that you act with a calm urgency. They should look to you as the anchor of the department when things start to spiral; you’re there to add a sense of control and leadership that adds direction where it seems there is none to be found.
Listen, listen and listen some more.
As your employees come to you with any number of different possible complaints or concerns, it’s easy to stay focused on your inbox, giving them half the attention they deserve. You should make sure to put those distractions behind you and look them in the eye. Perhaps write notes as they talk, showing that it’s not only something you care about, but something that’s important enough that you will take action. That action might only be a phone call, or commitment to standing behind them on a decision, but it’s action nonetheless. Showing them that they are more important than the tasks they know full well are piling up will build trust.
Empower your team.
Nothing builds trust and loyalty like knowing your supervisor not only has true concern for their situation, but empowers them to do their job as well as they can. Empowerment by removing the obstacles that keep them from completing their tasks, and taking arrows for them when things go wrong creates a mindset that we’re a team, driving towards a common goal and feeling achievement when we cross the finish line, together!
Be dependable. Be honest.
This is an easy one, and critical to your success in all areas of your life, personal and professional, as a manager and employee. Doing what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it creates a reputation that is tough to beat. People know that you’re someone that can be counted on, and someone who can be trusted. This is a fundamental part of successfully interacting with other humans, something you probably do from time to time! If you don’t know the answer, say so. If you say you’ll be there at 11:00, be there. It’s been said that it takes 17 good experiences to erase the memory of one bad one. This applies to poor service or your failure to make good on your word. Don’t put yourself in that situation.
Obviously, there is a lot to management; it’s a big job and one that not everyone is cut out for. Think about the key factor of management, the people. Those people are counting on you for direction, trust and oversight. They will appreciate your dedication to being the manager they deserve, and you will be more successful because of it.
What do you think about these points? Did I miss something you consider to be a foundation of solid management?