Successful managers influence behavior every day

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Your employees are counting on you to lead with consistency. Management/leadership isn’t a role where you can pick and choose which days you feel like being good at your job. A truly strong leader is one who is dependable—who creates clarity, serves, and invests in their employees and team members—every day.

In a series of previous blog posts, we dove into the qualities of a good manager and outlined steps you can take to effectively engage your employees. These include:

  • Communicating clear-cut expectations from day 1 and keeping the conversation flowing
  • Being more than just a "report reader” by getting in the trenches—coaching + providing helpful advice to your team
  • Taking the time to care about the well-being and contribution of each associate

It takes effort every day to have a positive impact on the way employees feel about their jobs, their colleagues, their store, and their customers. Choosing to create clarity, serve, and invest only a few times a week—while implementing poor management principles other days—won’t get the desired outcome you are after. As a leader, you are on stage every day, and your actions are being watched carefully by those you lead. These moments are an opportunity to win the trust of your team by demonstrating strong management skills and leadership principles. 

Below are some best practices to help you bring your best to your team and organization every day.

Invest in yourself on a daily basis

Even the best managers should constantly strive to be better. How can you expect your employees to evolve and improve if you aren’t leading by example? Take the time to interact with peers, develop your management skills, and challenge yourself.

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey defines ways to “Sharpen your saw.” Covey believes that by creating a balanced program in all 4 areas of your life (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual), you can enhance and preserve your best self. Some of the activities he recommends are:

  • Eat healthy, exercise, + get adequate rest
  • Make social + meaningful connections with others
  • Regularly learn, write, read, + teach
  • Spend time in nature

Take a few minutes every day to evaluate your performance

One of the best ways to keep your team on track is to log goals and performances. Not only does a daily journal keep your efforts organized for easier future reference, it creates a visual progress report. Make a commitment to journal your interactions with employees and answer these questions every day:

  • How did I improve someone’s performance today?
  • When did I miss an opportunity to improve performance today?

Really look into how you are leading people—where you’re getting it right and where you’re failing to accelerate performance. For help, download our guide and follow these steps:

  1. Create weekly goals for the next week in each area.
  2. Write your goals on a sticky note and place in the square for that week.
  3. Check back regularly and make sure you’re on track. Add notes as needed.
  4. At the end of the week, evaluate progress against your goals.
  5. Begin again: new week, new goals, new sticky notes.

Interact with your team daily

Even the most socially outgoing people have some days when they don’t feel like talking to others. But as a manager, it is your responsibility to provide consistent interaction with your team. That doesn’t mean you have to bombard them every hour with a pep talk by the water cooler. But it does mean you should make an effort to interact with them, on some level, every day.

One of the worst things you can do to an employee is ignore them. And even one missed day of interaction can have a negative effect on your relationship. It’s vital to communicate, provide service, and invest in your employees on a daily basis.

Engaged associates who feel valued and care about your brand are a crucial element to your company’s success. To learn more about SMG Associate Voice®, our employee engagement solution, watch our video.

Jeff Jokerst | VP, Customer Engagement

Customer Experience Update