As we transition from being functional experts to managers, our role undergoes a significant shift. We spend less time on core tasks and more time overseeing the work of others. In this journey, it becomes crucial for leaders to understand the essence of building strong relationships as managers. Through this article, I aim to provide valuable insights and guidance for first-time managers, frontline managers, and middle management, drawing from Gallup’s latest workplace study report. By embracing these principles, managers can attract, activate, and advance talent, ultimately becoming better leaders.

To help you on your journey to becoming a better manager, I’d like to share these 12 strategies:

1. Impactful Management Relationships 🤝
At the core of effective management lies the ability to cultivate impactful relationships. Building trust, fostering open communication, and demonstrating empathy are key components in establishing strong connections with your team members. By nurturing these relationships, managers create an environment that encourages collaboration, innovation, and high performance.

2. Understanding the Whole Person ❤️
Recognizing that employees are multifaceted individuals is paramount as a leader. Managers should take time to understand their team members’ unique strengths, motivations, and aspirations. By taking a holistic approach to leadership, managers can tailor their support, provide meaningful feedback, and help individuals realize their full potential.

3. Encouraging Diversity of Thought 💭
Great leaders understand the value of diverse perspectives. Encouraging an inclusive environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas fosters creativity and leads to better decision-making. Creating a culture that embraces a diverse range of perspectives and ideas not only enhances the dynamics of the team but also cultivates an environment conducive to perpetual growth and learning.

4. Making Recognition a Routine 👏
Acknowledging and appreciating the contributions of team members is a powerful tool for building morale and motivation. Regularly recognizing and celebrating achievements, both big and small, instills a sense of pride and reinforces a positive work culture. Managers who make recognition a routine can inspire their teams to strive for excellence.

5. Focusing on Employee Motivations 🏆
Understanding what drives individual team members is vital for effective management. By aligning tasks and responsibilities with employees’ motivations and aspirations, managers can foster a sense of purpose and engagement. This approach encourages higher levels of productivity and cultivates a positive work environment.

6. Managing Remote or Hybrid Teams 💻
In today’s evolving work landscape, managers must adapt to leading remote or hybrid teams. Effectively managing virtual teams requires clear communication, establishing trust, and providing the necessary resources needed for success. Employing technology and adopting flexible work practices can help bridge the gap and ensure team members feel supported and connected.

7. Creating a Culture of Inclusivity 🌟
Inclusive cultures empower every individual to feel valued and respected. Managers play a pivotal role in fostering such an environment where everyone believes they matter. Through proactive advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion, managers can unlock the full potential of their teams and cultivate an inclusive environment where every individual feels like they belong.

8. Coaching People to Their Brilliance 🎉
A great manager acts as a coach, guiding their team members toward unlocking their true potential. By providing constructive feedback, setting clear goals, and offering support, managers can inspire growth and help individuals excel in their roles. Effective coaching fosters a culture of continuous development and empowers employees to shine.

9. Mentoring for Team Player Excellence 🥇
Managers have the opportunity to mentor their team members, helping them become the best team players they can be. By offering guidance, sharing experiences, and fostering collaboration, managers can nurture a cohesive and high-performing team. Mentoring promotes learning, builds camaraderie, and strengthens the overall team dynamic.

10. Quick Techniques for New Managers 🆕
For new managers, it can be overwhelming to navigate the complexities of leadership. Implementing quick techniques such as effective delegation, active listening, and regular check-ins can provide a solid foundation for success. These techniques enable managers to build trust, establish credibility, and adapt to the demands of their new role.

11. Accountability – The New Edge 💡
In today’s fast-paced and dynamic work environment, accountability is crucial. Managers must set clear expectations, provide guidance, and hold team members accountable for their actions. A culture that upholds accountability fosters responsibility, promotes growth, and ensures organizational success.

12. Managing Quiet Quitting – Inviting Flourishing Individuals 📈
It is proven that people perform at their best when they are motivated and fulfilled. As a manager, it is vital that you create an environment where individuals can flourish and become the best versions of themselves. Recognizing the intrinsic desires that drive people, and aligning tasks and responsibilities accordingly, empowers employees to exceed expectations and achieve personal fulfillment.

As managers, our ability to grow relationships and nurture the brilliance in others is a testament to our leadership. By embracing the principles outlined in this article, managers can establish impactful relationships, unlock the potential of their team members, and create a culture of excellence. Remember, leadership is not simply about managing tasks; it is about inspiring individuals to reach their full potential and achieve collective success.

Looking to learn more after reading this article? Take my LinkedIn Learning Course “Growing Relationships as a Manager” and become the best leader you can possibly be.