Being a light industrial manager isn’t easy. You’ll need to be dedicated, work hard, and embrace the idea of learning something new every day. Here are a few tips to become a better manager.

Learn Your Operations Inside and Out

To be a stellar manager, it’s not enough to know the basics. Take the time to fully understand each stage of the process: not only how it works, but why things are done in a specific way. Get to know your warehouse like the back of your hand, and make friends with your vendors. The more you know about your operations, the easier it will be to adjust your processes based on fluctuating supply and demand. And you might even find that “how it’s always been done” isn’t necessarily the most efficient in the post-Covid era.

Know How to Set, Communicate, and Achieve Goals

Management best practices aren’t proprietary, so feel free to borrow liberally from other managers, whether at your company or a competitor. You’ll need to find a model, or develop your own, that allows you to easily set goals, communicate them to your entire team, and then accomplish them. Remember that the only way you’ll know whether a particular initiative is working is to track it. Data and metrics let you identify what’s going well, what needs some work, and what should be scrapped altogether.

Lead by Example

Never ask your employees to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. Even small things, like always following all safety protocols when walking the production floor, will be noticed by your team. Likewise, if you refuse to pick up trash or mop up spills, your team will notice that as well.

Get to Know Your Team

Ultimately, what separates a good manager from a great one is the ability to engage with and inspire your team. Get to know your team members as human beings. Participate in team-building activities with them. And above all, learn to listen. Validating their concerns, following up on their questions and suggestions, and helping them feel valued will go a long way toward boosting your company’s productivity. It will also help keep your team members loyal, which is incredibly important in today’s tight labor market.

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