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Progressing up the career ladder generally upward requires moving from being a contributor to supervising a team of employees as direct reports. However, having years of experience in an industry or specialized technical expertise doesn’t mean you will automatically know how to manage people – it’s a completely new skill. But like any other skill, even if it doesn’t come naturally, you can learn through practice. Become a better manager by taking these steps.

Listen More Than You Talk

Managing employees effectively isn’t just about what you need to communicate to them. In order to develop a strategy and make the best decisions possible, you need to get your employees’ perspectives as well. When you’re interacting with your employees, aim to listen more than you talk. There are numerous benefits to prioritizing listening to your employees: learning about issues preventing them from efficiently performing their jobs (that you could hopefully alleviate); showing interest in them to grow a more mutually trustworthy relationship; and hearing their suggestions and ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.

Motivate By Highlighting Purpose

A common misconception among managers is that employees care about compensation above all else. However, if you want to truly motivate your employees to be personally invested in their jobs, you need to highlight the purpose their roles provide. Discuss the important contribution they make and the benefits it offers to others. By giving their job duties deeper meaning, your employees will feel more motivated to work harder and find it fulfilling to do so.

Provide Positive Reinforcement

Human nature makes people tend to focus more on the negative feedback received. If you don’t make it a priority to compliment and show appreciation on a regular basis, your team will feel demoralized since they’re only hearing about their shortcomings. Keep your team’s morale and self-confidence up by providing positive reinforcement on a consistent basis. Compliment and thank them whenever it’s applicable in order to counterbalance the instances when constructive criticism is necessary.

Check In Regularly

The best managers are the ones who are accessible when their employees need them. Ensure your employees are getting the support they need from you to succeed by checking in regularly. Establish regular meetings, ideally weekly, so your team knows there is an open channel for communication with you, especially if an issue arises that is impacting their productivity, morale, or performance. Consistent check-ins also allow you to catch warning signs of workplace issues, such as excessive stress or burnout, so you can help your employee before it’s too late.

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Find qualified candidates for your team by working with the RPC Company. Since 2002, RPC has been providing quality candidates to employers in the Dallas, Fort Worth, TX and Springfield, MO areas for their hiring needs, including temporary, temp-to-hire, direct hire, and more. Contact RPC Company to learn more about our employer services.

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