Many individuals think that just because they are promoted to a management role, employees will automatically respect you, adhere to the rules you put in place, and in many cases be afraid to make a mistake. Unfortunately, employees do not work like this in the real world. In order to be an effective leader that employees respect you must: know what you are talking about (not just pretend that you do), not be afraid to get involved and help out (remember you are not a superior being, you just have a different title), and be an effective communicator.
Let’s face it; I’m sure that everyone has had a boss that “thought” they knew everything and that they were too smart to listen to any suggestions given by their employees. This is a huge mistake. Just because you are a manager does not mean that you have the best solution to every situation. In fact, I would highly recommend listening to your employees. You may know how a job is done but, as a manager you must accept that your employee is the expert in their position and that they do the job enough to have ideas about a more efficient method for completing the task. As a manager, it is crucial that we listen to our employees and explore all options.
Another mistake I have seen is that managers do not get involved in the day to day business. This is another huge mistake. Managers must get involved with their employees. If you take some time and get out of the office, you will see a lot more of what is going on, you will gain respect from your employees for actually doing work, and involvement will also aid in being proactive to potential problems before they arise.
Communication is the key to success. As a manager you must give clear instructions on how a task is to be completed. Many times, I have seen a manager give instructions to an employee and they are still confused about what to do. Managers must give clear instructions and depending on whom you are dealing with, a limited amount of instructions at a time. Once you have given instructions, make sure you follow-up. This will give you a chance to correct a misunderstood instruction before it is too late.
Management is not a simple task by any means. It takes a great deal of skill and you cannot be afraid to listen. In order to be an effective manager you must know what you are doing, get involved in the day to day business, and effectively communicate with your employees.