The importance of improving your management skills

January 4, 2022

It's easy for employers and managers to underestimate the importance of good management, but in today's work sphere, it's essential for success. Great managers are key to mobilizing employees, strengthening their skills and driving operational efficiency and growth. Recognizing the full impact managers have on their teams and organizations will be fundamental to understanding and improving their skills moving forward.

The full impact of managers

According to a workplace study from Gallup, 50% of employees quit their job because of their boss, not because of the job itself. Moreover, Gallup found managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. These staggering numbers are a testament to the priority that proper management tactics should hold.

Bad managers are a large reason behind organizational issues including low engagement, low morale, decreased productivity and increased turnover. But, more than the detrimental effect poor management can have on the company, is the impact on employees. Workers in an environment of bad management often experience unnecessary stress and major health issues. A report from OnlineMBA found the combination of stress-related health expenses, productivity losses, and losses associated with high-turnover rates costs U.S companies an estimated $360 billion every year.

Ways to improve management skills

For employers and managers looking to reform and improve the impact they have on their teams, here are ways to cultivate better management skills:

1. Communicate more effectively 
Poor communication between managers and their employees can cause a rift in workplace relationships. It's beneficial to ensure you open lines of communication throughout the workplace so employees can feel comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns. A good manager often communicates frequently and specifically, to avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings or mistakes.

2. Set clear goals and realistic expectations
For employees, a lot of work-related stress is caused by not understanding exactly what their job entails or what is expected of them. Setting clear goals is vital for workers to recognize their role in the company. However, it's equally important to set expectations that can be met by your team, because employees can quickly lose morale if they feel they are underperforming.

3. Recognize employees more often
Gratitude and recognition can go a long way with employees, as they genuinely appreciate positive feedback. This is a valuable tool to increase morale, engagement and productivity in workers that feel seen and appreciated.

4. Improve motivation strategies
A good manager actively motivates their team to work at their highest potential. Implementing effective motivational strategies —such as incentives, gamification or increased transparency— can be highly beneficial for overall morale and productivity. A report from Apollo Technical even found employees who are recognized at work are 63% more likely to stay at their current job longer.

It's vital for organizations to keep in mind that bad management is not inevitable, but highly avoidable. With proper training from the start, as well as an understanding of how to improve their leadership skills along the way, organizations can avoid the high costs of poor management and foster a more positive environment for their employees all around.