While managing the hectic day-to-day activities of the workplace, bosses may not recognize the need for continuous learning and development. It takes a different mindset for managers to see themselves as “teachers” instead of merely being “supervisors,” but that transformation can give managers the ability to make noticeable improvements in production and morale.
Regardless of the industry, today’s managers can help themselves and their team by learning and developing the following three practices:
- Defining and communicating goals
- Building the essential skills in their team members
- Setting up opportunities for growth
Once in place, these methods will result in a positively charged work environment filled with creative and motivated employees working together toward shared goals. Here’s how to make that happen:
Defining and Communicating the Company’s Goals
Every successful teacher has a plan for where the class will be at the end of the school year along with the specific steps to get there. Just like teachers, managers need to have clearly stated goals that serve the organization’s mission. These goals must be approached as shared goals to instill a sense of unity in achieving them.
Good communication about goals is a two-way street. Just as it’s a boss’ responsibility to communicate these organizational goals plainly, it’s also their duty to listen to their workers’ personal goals. Whenever they align with the company’s mission, bosses should support these goals and give staff any training opportunities they need to build the skills that will contribute toward reaching those shared goals.
Building the Essential Skills in Team Members
One of the most significant responsibilities of a manager is to be able to understand and build the skills needed to accomplish the company’s goals. Without knowing what skills are required and what each worker is good at, it could be nearly impossible to accomplish them.
Unlike in a school system, where assessment tests help teachers to evaluate skills and measure growth, managers need to observe and ask questions to determine where additional training is needed. Managers can empower employees who want to add to their portfolio of skills by allowing them to take on assignments that will provide an opportunity to stretch their abilities and gain new skills. Successful managers give their team members a variety of tasks that can be accomplished with their present skill set and some assignments that require them to stretch and grow.
Setting Up Opportunities for Growth
Most workers don’t want to feel stagnant. Giving them opportunities for growth is essential for morale and higher productivity. Effective leaders give their workers constructive feedback while encouraging a growth mindset. When managers understand that they are not merely assessing performance, but are helping to grow skills and reach common goals, it’s easier to give the necessary feedback.
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Managers who learn to be teachers not only help their employees but contribute to their own professional growth as well. Leaders who teach skills and support their workers’ growth are paving the way for their own personal success!