Whether you’re an experienced leader or aspiring to take on a managerial role, understanding the full scope of your responsibilities is crucial to your success as a leader.
But being a manager goes beyond simply overseeing tasks and issuing directives. It’s about offering guidance to your team, being a catalyst for growth in your company, and mentoring your team members to bring out their talents.
As a manager, you hold the key to inspiring your team, driving productivity, and fostering a positive work culture.
In this article, we’ll explore the multifaceted nature of a managerial role and outline actionable strategies you can use to elevate your leadership skills.
What is the role of a manager within an organization?
Managers are the bridge between senior management and lower-level employees. They communicate what’s expected of their employees and help them navigate deadlines and projects with gentle guidance and clear priorities.
They also provide context for smaller tasks by keeping the big picture in mind and explaining how each aspect of the project fits together.
Managers stand as representatives of their employees: consolidating employee feedback, complaints, and concerns and communicating that information with senior management.
The manager advocates on their team’s behalf to ensure the latter’s opinions are heard throughout the company. Valuing team members in this way builds employee loyalty, which lies at the core of a positive company culture.
Here’s something to think about: as the manager, you’re responsible for 70% of the variance in your team’s engagement. That’s how critical it is to find effective ways to support, nurture, and lead your team so they stay engaged, productivity stays high, and the company can hum along.
What are a manager’s responsibilities?
Managers play a pivotal role in building and maintaining company culture. While their role can be difficult to summarize, the effects of their leadership are felt throughout the company.
A manager takes ownership of the following responsibilities:
1. Goal setting and performance management
Managers guide their teams toward achieving company objectives. They’re responsible for setting strategic goals and helping their teams reach them.
In goal setting, managers should be as specific as possible when describing the desired outcome. Over 1,000 studies have shown that setting challenging and specific goals significantly boosts task performance, persistence, and motivation compared to setting vague or easy-to-accomplish goals.
New managers often make the mistake of setting goals and doing nothing more. A good manager outlines how their employees can achieve those goals with actionable strategies and clear instructions.
To help your team successfully reach the targets you set, you should:
- Communicate company goals clearly
- Assign the best employee for each task
- Provide incentives and motivators for hard work
- Set appropriate deadlines
- Know which key performance indicators measure your success
- Regularly review employee performance
- Adjust your strategy as needed
Want to learn more about goal setting? Read our article, The Ultimate Guide to Setting Professional Goals in 2023.
2. Building and developing a high-performing team of employees
A team’s success often hinges on the manager’s ability to guide them. Developing a high-performing team is one of the most important manager responsibilities because it directly impacts the entire company’s success.
Managers are responsible for team organization, capacity planning, task delegation, and employee development and training. Effective managers also arrange for team-building activities and foster collaboration to improve the quality of team projects.
Motion makes task delegation easy by allowing you to assign tasks to employees directly in their calendars. Our AI-powered calendars keep track of employee availability, meetings, and deadlines, keeping you organized and your employees productive, whether you’re managing a remote team or working with everyone in the office.
3. Managing administrative tasks and organization
Managers fill many administrative roles in a company’s hierarchy. In addition to managing the people in an organization, they’re responsible for task prioritization, resource allocation, and workflow maintenance and optimization.
As a manager, you can streamline your administrative responsibilities by using time management strategies such as times blocking, task batching, and the “eat the frog” method. Time management strategies will help you stay on top of these fundamental manager tasks so you also have time to sit back and see the big picture.
Successful managers use technological tools to automate repetitive tasks, organize complex scheduling, and keep workflows running smoothly.
Motion is a powerful management tool that takes time-consuming admin off your plate and does the work for you. With its task prioritization, workflow automation, and AI-powered team scheduling functionalities, Motion can help you boost your productivity by freeing up time to complete your other managerial responsibilities.
4. Decision-making and problem-solving
Senior managers and employees turn to managers for a solution when the unexpected happens. In those moments, it’s up to managers to make quick, informed decisions that help restore regular production while a long-term solution is found.
When they encounter a problem, good managers are skilled at analyzing the available information, finding the root cause, and coming up with a practical and effective solution. They’re also responsible for establishing contingency plans that tell employees what to do in the event of a problem or emergency.
5. Communication and information-sharing
It’s essential for managers to maintain transparency and open lines of communication when managing their teams. Employees who are included in high-level communication are nearly five times more likely to be productive than employees who are left in the dark.
Only 7% of US workers feel that they experience accurate, open, and timely communication at their organizations. This lack of communication is often the result of managers who don’t keep their employees informed about expectations and changes.
Motion helps those in leadership roles facilitate effective communication within teams, across departments, and between different levels of management. Motion’s communication feature allows for effortless asynchronous communication. It also fosters company-wide transparency and minimizes confusion and wasted time for your entire team.
6. Budgeting and resource management
Managers are responsible for allocating resources, controlling costs, and ensuring that expenditures align with the organization’s financial goals and priorities. They alert upper management if costs are snowballing and offer solutions for bringing finances back on track.
Since managers interact with employees constantly, they have a good idea of how the company uses resources on a day-to-day basis. They provide much-needed insights into the budgeting requirements for tools and resources across the company and are invaluable when resource planning for a new month or year.
7. Navigating change and adapting to new technologies
When an organization adopts new technology or updates one of their processes, the manager is responsible for guiding the employees as they adapt to the changes. Specifically, they help employees navigate the steep learning curves that come with new platforms and processes while limiting any drop in productivity as their teams adapt.
Companies with adaptable cultures experienced a 28% increase in revenue from 2020 to 2023. Building an adaptive corporate culture enables your organization to quickly and effectively adapt to change.
Effective managers lead their teams in ways that make them resilient to change. As technology advances, these managers help organizations stay relevant by leveraging technological tools to boost productivity and streamline workflows.
What are the skills of an effective manager?
The range of skills that set a great manager apart from their peers will differ depending on the organization type, organization size, number of teams, team size, and industry the organization falls into.
However, some managerial skills are universal. Effective project managers are strong leaders, informed decision-makers, and organized strategic planners. They also have good interpersonal skills to handle communication and conflict with ease.
Let’s dive into the essential skills of an effective manager and explore ways to improve them.
Leadership skills involve setting priorities, delegating tasks, and motivating your team. A good leader is encouraging, provides clear expectations, and offers a mix of positive and constructive feedback.
Effective leadership involves knowing how best to work with different team members. For example, some workers thrive when completing a process from start to finish, while others work less methodically to reach the same outcome.
It’s important to avoid micromanaging your team, as this kills their productivity and motivation.
Try the following tactics to improve your leadership skills:
- Identify your leadership style, and take advantage of its strengths.
- Take courses in leadership and team management.
- Ask employees for feedback (and be willing to implement it!).
- Keep the big picture in mind to provide context to employees.
Managers are responsible for explaining to employees what senior management expects of them, relaying positive or constructive feedback from clients to employees, and facilitating smooth employee-to-employee communication.
Anyone with experience in management knows that having excellent communication skills means practicing active listening. Don’t listen to respond — listen to understand. Before ending a conversation, summarize your understanding of the conversation, and ask if you’ve missed anything.
Try the following tactics to improve your communication skills:
- Explain things in the briefest and most specific way possible.
- Practice active listening.
- Keep communication channels open.
- Pay attention to nonverbal communication techniques like body language and tone.
- Provide both positive feedback and constructive criticism.
Having good decision-making skills means being able to make rational and informed decisions in a timely manner.
Managers need to have strong decision-making skills since they’re responsible for coordinating multiple teams and projects. If you make uninformed, irrational decisions, your team — and the company as a whole — will suffer.
Try the following tactics to improve your decision-making skills:
- Practice decisiveness in your personal life to get used to sticking to whatever plan you make.
- Learn from your past mistakes and apply criticism and feedback to future work.
- Research before implementing changes to processes and procedures so you know about any potential issues your employees might encounter.
As a manager, your employees look to you for assistance and guidance when things go wrong. Problem-solving skills mean you can think on your feet to come up with a workable solution quickly. It’s also the manager’s role to come up with long-term solutions to repetitive issues.
Try the following tactics to improve your problem-solving skills:
- Practice setting clear goals for your solution and defining what a successful solution will do.
- Observe how others solve problems and use their methods as inspiration.
- Play problem-solving games, such as Sudoku or Crosswords, in your spare time.
5. Conflict resolution
Conflict is inevitable In any workplace. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to de-escalate heightened emotions and redirect possible anger to come up with helpful solutions.
Managers are mediators, which means they need to give both sides of the party a chance to voice their frustrations and concerns. They can then help come up with a solution that ensures employee satisfaction and contributes to a healthy company culture.
Try the following tactics to improve your conflict resolution skills:
- Practice maintaining a calm tone in moments of frustration or anger.
- Use de-escalation and redirection techniques before trying to find a solution.
- Encourage open feedback to identify potential conflicts before they escalate.
6. Time management
Time management skills involve effectively managing tasks and deadlines to maximize productivity. If you’re a manager, they also involve coordinating your team members’ responsibilities and schedules to ensure everyone meets their deadlines and no one wastes time at work.
Try the following tactics to improve your time-management skills:
- Use time-tracking techniques so you can make informed decisions when scheduling tasks for your team.
- Practice prioritizing tasks and projects by importance and urgency.
- Know the distractions you often face, and limit them to help you stay focused.
- Use a team-management tool like Motion to make coordinating schedules and assigning tasks a breeze.
7. Strategic thinking
Strategic thinking involves keeping the big picture in mind while making decisions that affect the company, analyzing key performance indicators to track success, and understanding how to link the wants and needs of stakeholders, clients, and employees.
Managers need to think strategically whenever they make changes in the company. Strategic thinking ensures every change aligns with the company’s goals and business model.
Try the following tactics to improve your strategic thinking skills:
- Practice using the strategic, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goal-setting technique to understand what you’re working toward.
- Analyze the effects of past changes in the company to improve your ability to predict the effects of new changes.
- Keep up-to-date with industry trends, and look for ways to complete tasks more optimally in your company.
Become an exceptional manager with Motion
Being a manager isn’t always easy. But fortunately, you already have what it takes to lead your team successfully.
Fostering open communication, nurturing a positive work culture, and setting goals that inspire and motivate your team can help you fulfill your role as manager with confidence.
And don’t forget to use technology. The right managerial tools can make a world of difference in your day-to-day operations.
Motion helps you take care of your managerial responsibilities by simplifying your administrative tasks. Our AI-powered platform automatically schedules repetitive tasks, streamlines your workflows, organizes complex schedules, and makes prioritization a breeze so your team never misses a deadline again.