A good manager should act as a facilitator to effectively organise the workplace and its employees. To boost workplace relations, a manager may focus on strengthening their skills and those of its team by focusing on motivating and encouraging employees, communicating expectations, resolving disputes and empowering employees.

Recent CIPD research shows that about 65% of employees say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their line manager. However, while employees often have very positive views about their personal relationship with their line manager, coaching and assistance with career development are two areas where the majority of employees are looking for more guidance.

As a manager the first step in ensuring you’re coaching your team effectively is applying a proactive stance to identify factors that may lead to unmotivated employees, or suppress workplace issues if they already exist, so you can prevent them from emerging or becoming worse.

Incorporating the seven simple strategies below can provide a basis for improving your skills as a manager and ensuring you’re leading your team in the best possible way.

  1. Talk less, listen more…

A skill that most managers should obtain through their career is the ability to listen and communicate effectively, which helps in making informed decisions. During team meetings and reviews, ask open-ended questions to get the most from employee responses.

Ask yourself, how can I change communication and develop questioning skills? These questions will help your team think more ‘out of the box’.

A trap that leaders can fall into is that they fail to understand the purpose of communication. It’s not to continuously speak to employees, but rather to engage by listening to what your employees require.

  1. Play to your (and your team’s) strengths

As a manager, understanding your own strengths and weaknesses can really change how you coach and give feedback. Recognising individual differences in your team’s abilities means you can make your feedback more relevant for each employee’s development.

It can sometimes be a struggle for managers to get their staff to meet or exceed their goals, which may be because employees are working at jobs that are not providing challenges or focusing on their individual strengths, according to research from Forbes. Managers can focus on tapping into the true potential of their staff members by using the latest talent software.

  1. Manage teams, not individuals

Managers are ultimately responsible for their team’s performance, rather than a group of individuals’ performance. When conducting performance reviews, you should consider individual strengths and skills gaps, and try to pair up team members with complementary skills. In doing so, you can help encourage team work, provide learning opportunities, and increase the chance of successful projects. Having a performance management process enables managers to evaluate and monitor individual and team performance, and to optimise productivity of employees.

4) Accentuate the positive

Pay attention to each employee’s strengths while helping to fix weaknesses. For instance, offering training opportunities can encourage employees to set goals of their own that align with the business values. Likewise, avoid employee burnout by working on core competencies and strengths, and don’t forget to name these strengths during one-to-one reviews.

Building on your employee’s strengths is effective in driving performance and can empower other employees in the organisation to follow this route to discover and develop their best skills.

  1. Be inspirational

A common trait among the most successful companies is that they both recognise and inspire their employees to improve, and a large part of this process falls to the manager’s role.

Ensure you’re pointing out all staff members’ great talents, coach them, provide feedback  where necessary, and refine their skills further by giving them more challenging opportunities for growth. Also, ensure you’re continuously reinforcing good traits in current performance to continue to drive the same or better performance in future.

  1. Give feedback frequently

Acknowledging achievement and reviewing exceptional results is vital to being a part of any management team. Always be on hand to give feedback frequently; it’s more important that employees are recognised in real time than in six months when things have been forgotten.

On the other hand, when you need to correct the odd mistake, ensure you’re direct and don’t criticise the individual when the action is the issue. Managers can provide constructive criticism to enforce feedback, and provide examples of different ways to carry out tasks or prevent future mishaps.

  1. Make performance reviews about people

Ultimately, the purpose of an employee review should be to measure job performance, but this is also a valuable time to tie in all the above management strategies. Evaluating performance goals is as important as identifying recognition and reward.

Performance reviews are an opportunity to conduct a valuable evaluation of your employees. They’re about improving and developing the people as much as they are the organisation, so it’s a great time demonstrate how an employee’s efforts have contributed to the success of the team and provide constructive criticism where things need improvement.

Taking the above steps can help managers improve their skills, but sometimes a little more support is needed too. The aim of implementing a performance management tool is to improve the workflow and management of your employees, thus increasing the performance of the workplace as a whole.

Performance management software tools can provide managers with up-to-date and actionable performance data that provides organisational insight. Managers have access to identifying training needs, rewarding top performers and accurately tracking skills and competencies. This can save valuable time and helps to set meaningful goals aligned with the organisations strategy.