Key Areas of Improvement for Managers

6 min. read

Finding ways to identify areas of improvement will not only improve your own performance as a manager, but also employee performance as well.

Continued growth, expansion, and development is a vital practice for future success in any organization. This is especially true when you are in a management position because your effectiveness as a leader can directly impact your team and the company's success as a whole. While the focus is usually placed on strengths and weaknesses for employees and team members, but for managers, it's often useful to self-reflect and identify key areas of improvement for managers and ways to help support and strengthen your own leadership skills and management skills.

Finding areas that need improvement to become a better manager

Finding ways to identify areas of improvement will not only improve your own performance as a manager, but also increase employee engagement and performance as well. A little self reflection and self evaluation goes a long way. As a manager one's job is to measure and guide performance of your team members. But don't forget that as a member of your own team, it is also important to give yourself a performance review from time to time and that improving one's own communication skills and management techniques can elevate you from a good manager to a great manager.

1. Communication skills

Strong communication skills are a key component for any leader, whether in business or otherwise. Being able to clearly state goals and effectively convey ideas and intentions is a vital ability to have. Without great communication you'll never be able to guide and inspire your team, motivating them will be a challenge and there will constantly be misunderstandings. Take a look at how well you communicate with you team and if those skills could bear some improvement. Remember that communication isn't just verbal interactions. Some people are very curt and impersonal on text and email communications. Could your written communications with the team improve by adding a personal touch?

2. Motivation skills

Successful managers motivate their team to perform to their best potential. Identifying and practicing effective motivational strategies can therefore provide a good opportunity for improvement and growth. Try expanding your repertoire of motivational strategies to improve your leadership skills. Ask yourself: do you publicly acknowledge good work by employees? How do you reward creative problem-solving? Do you offer incentives for upticks in performance?

3. Goal setting

The top 3 areas that need improvement are those mentioned here: Communication, Motivation and Setting Goals. If you were to choose only the top 3 areas that need improvement, and ignore any others, those would be the ones to focus on.

With regards to goals, the most effective supervisors set specific goals and develop measures to achieve them. How effective are your goal-setting skills? This is a sensibility that often develops over time which makes it a valuable area for any manager to improve.

When you set goals for your team, do you use a framework, in which you write objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based? Do you encourage your team members to use a daily battle plan that achieves sub-goals that contribute to the attainment of larger purposes? Starting with the big end-goals in mind and working backwards to achieve the smaller steps in between is one way of making sure you stay on track and guiding your decision making so that you move each day toward achieving those goals.

4. Employee support

Many effective managers meet with their team members on an individual basis. Mentoring programs and ongoing study programs to improve employee skill sets and abilities on the job are important supportive arrangements that will only result in a positive outcome and encouraging getting the best work out of everyone. Meeting individually can be a good way to hear more of their creative ideas, deliver feedback and build trust and rapport. Offering individual support to your team members can also be a productive way to improve your abilities as a leader. Remember that a team is made up of individuals. Try engaging in more individual conversations with your employees or implementing a system for planning and holding one-on-one sessions with them.

A handy side-effect of this approach is building good relationships with your team. Do you go out of your way to develop positive working relationships with your team, and cultivate positive relationships between team members themselves? This can help teams work more productively and allow for open communication. Nurturing strong working relationships can turn coworkers into friends and encourage a feeling of community in the work environment. This a valuable area for improvement as a manager. Try strengthening your connection with your team members by arranging low-stakes, positive social activities. You might also hold communication-oriented team building fun exercises and activities that focus on teamwork.

5. Personal growth

Good leaders set a good example, reaching for their own full potential on a personal level. They demonstrate the qualities they want to see in their team members. In this way personal development can also be a good way to improve your effectiveness as a manager. Seek out self-improvement and training wherever possible.

Perhaps your company offers opportunities for ongoing education or programs that can support and improve your job performance as a manager. When you emphasize a trait or skill for your employees, be sure to display that trait or skill in your own professional work. Leading by a "do as I say, not as I do" is a sure way to erode confidence in your team. Asking them to communicate well, while falling short on your own communication skills will inevitably tear down your professional altitude.

Key takeaways on growth & development areas for managers

Effective leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve performance, not only of their team members, but for themselves as well. Setting a good example where you always reach for your best in your own position will ultimately inspire that kind of attitude from your employees. This approach is far more effective than micromanaging their jobs and will encourage self-awareness and a thirst for self-improvement.

Did you find any areas for improvement?

Did you find out anything interesting about yourself as a manager after reading this article? If so, share your findings with your team and kick of a era of improvement in your organization. Feel free to share this article with colleagues and fellow managers.